Santa Fe, TX – The gunman who murdered 10 people at Santa Fe High School used a shotgun to blast through a door at the start of his killing spree, fatally shooting a student in the chest.
Brave students rushed to the door to hold it shut, which is when the gunman fired a shotgun blast through the wood part of the doorway, fatally hitting student Chris Stone in the chest, according to New York Times.
USA Today has since published an article that claiming that the deadly rampage could have been much worse, and credited the gunman’s “use of less-lethal weapons” as the likely reason more people weren’t killed.
"Less lethal" is a term used to describe weapons which are unlikely to be lethal, but may result in death in rare occasions.
Examples of less-lethal weapons include Tasers and rubber bullets. They do not include firearms with live ammunition.
After the shooting, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick called for "hardening" of schools with more armed security and fewer entrances.
"When you're facing someone who's an active shooter, the best way to take that shooter down is with a gun. But even better than that is four to five guns to one," he told CNN.
Officer John Barnes was shot in the upper arm while confronting the gunman. The shot shattered the bones in his arms and and severed a major blood vessel, leaving him with life-threatening injuries.
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.”
USA Today expressed relief that Pagourtzis used “less-lethal weapons” to murder his peers and faculty, and claimed that the firearms “may have slowed down the gunman’s deadly rampage because they have a slower firing rate.”
The periodical compared the weapons Pagourtzis used to an AR-15, which it claimed “can be fired more than twice as fast as most handguns.” This statement is entirely inaccurate.
The AR-15’s larger magazine would also allow “a shooter to continue firing interrupted for longer, making the weapon more lethal than other firearms,” USA Today asserted.
“In Friday's attack, it's likely the weapons may have kept the death toll from rising,” the news outlet concluded.
According to USA Today, “less lethal weapons” were also used in the “deadly attack at Virginia Tech” in 2007, when student Seung-Hui Cho murdered 32 people with two handguns.
In actuality, an AR-15 – a semiautomatic rifle – cannot be fired any more rapidly than the weapons Pagourtzis used, with regards to trigger pull.
Depending on the type of ammunition, a shotgun has the ability to send multiple projectiles downrange with each shot, as opposed to the single bullet fired by an AR-15.
It's unclear why the publication would claim evidenced by the 10 individuals he ruthlessly killed.
Pagourtzis’ weapons also would not have been affected by any new gun control legislation, which has banned “assault weapons,” and “high capacity magazines” in some areas.
According to KHOU, Pagourtzis surrendered himself to police, but said his intention had been to commit suicide.
An 18-year-old individual was also detained with Pagourtzis, the news outlet reported.
Investigators have confirmed the presence of apparent 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.
It was later determined that the devices lacked detonators and were incapable of exploding.