Santa Fe, TX – A 17-year-old gunman who opened fire inside Santa Fe High School on Friday morning has been charged for the murders of 10 people, Texas Governor Greg Abbot confirmed.
A total of 10 additional people were injured during the attack, including a retired Houston police officer, who went on to work as an officer at Santa Fe ISD PD, KHOU reported.
Investigators have confirmed the presence of explosive devices at the school – including pressure cookers and Molotov cocktails – and were working to ascertain whether or not additional explosive devices were planted in other locations, to include the gunman’s home.
Officer John Barnes, 49, retired from Houston PD in January, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a Twitter post.
He was the first one who engaged the gunman, Santa Fe High School student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, after the teen opened fire on his peers with a shotgun and a .38 revolver, KHOU reported.
Officer Barnes sustained a gunshot wound to the upper arm, which caused a severe injury to a major blood vessel in his arm, medical personnel said during a Friday afternoon press conference.
The officer lost a significant amount of blood at the scene, and was transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) by air ambulance in critical condition.
Medical personnel said that Officer Barnes was “bleeding out,” when he arrived, and that his “blood pressure was very low.”
The officer was rushed into surgery at 9:20 a.m., and his vital signs have since stabilized.
He was still in surgery to address shattered bones in his elbow as of Friday afternoon.
UTMB Chief Nursing Officer David Marshall said that two additional victims were also being treated at the facility.
A “pediatric patient” was shot in the leg, and sustained “minimal injury” to the leg muscle, Marshall said. The patient was in stable condition.
A female in her “mid-fifties” sustained a fractured bone in her leg due to a gunshot wound, and was also listed in stable condition, Marshall said.
A 15-year-old patient was treated at the scene of the shooting for an unspecified injury, but had not been shot, Marshall added.
Sophomore Rome Shubert said that he was hit in the back of a head by a bullet, but that the round had “missed everything vital,” The Mercury News reported.
Investigators said they are looking into two other “people of interest,” KHOU reported.
The incident began at 7:32 a.m., when police first received a 911 call of shots fired at the school. That call was disconnected.
At 7:33 a.m., someone contacted 911 and said that people were being shot.
A report that Officer Barnes was “down” was received at 7:35 a.m., as officers rushed to the scene.
Police made entry into the school at 7:40 a.m., just eight minutes after the first 911 call was placed.
According to KHOU, Pagourtzis surrendered himself to police at 10:06 a.m., but said his intention had been to commit suicide.
An 18-year-old individual was also detained with Pagourtzis, the news outlet reported.
Students said they saw Pagourtzis wearing a trench coat, army boots, and a t-shirt with the words “Born to Kill,” on the morning of the attack, KIAH reported.
Many said he was quiet, and tended to stay to himself.
Some believed he had been bullied.
According to Heavy, Pagourtzis posted a photo of a handgun and a knife on his Instagram page. In the bio section of his profile, he simply wrote, “Numb.”
His Facebook page allegedly included a photograph of a long coat covered with Nazi symbols, and he listed the significance of the symbols in the photo caption.
Pagourtzis’ social media accounts have since been deleted.