Ten Dead After Gunman Opens Fire at Santa Fe High School in Texas



Santa Fe shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis

By Jimmy He and Alexa Soroka

17-year old Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire in an art classroom at Santa Fe High School on Friday May 18th, leaving two teachers and eight students dead and 13 injured.

The victims include 17-year-olds Jared Black, Christopher Stone, Pakistanian exchange student Sabika Sheikah, 15-year-olds Christian Riley Garcia and Aaron Kyle McLeod, substitute teachers Glenda Ann Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale, Angelique Ramirez, Shana Fischer, and Kim Vaughan.

Friday morning, Pagourtzis entered the building wearing a shirt reading “Born to Kill” and a trench coat concealing a .38 caliber revolver and shotgun, both belonging to his father.

He began firing shots and throwing explosive devices in a first-period art classroom from 7:30 to 7:45.

After hearing gunshots, the school’s police officer John Barnes attempted to take control of the situation and was shot in the upper arm by the gunman.

It wasn’t until 8:02, about 30 minutes after the first shots were heard, that the gunman surrendered.

According to Michael McCaul, head of the U.S. Homeland Security Committee, the gunman “sort of fell to the ground and surrendered” with hopes of avoiding an intense confrontation with authorities.

Since the incident, Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault against a public servant. He is currently being held without bond and is on suicide watch.

Although the true motives of the gunman cannot be confirmed, the suspect’s father believes his son may have acted out due to bullying that he received from other students. The school, however, rejects this claim.

Many students at Wayne Hills already knew of the event and openly expressed their opinions.

“It’s upsetting that families and parents and children have to hear this,” freshman Milana Shindelman shares.

With school shootings occurring nationwide on an almost consistent basis, students have considered their own safety at WHHS.

Sophomore Maya Kachroo comments, “You can’t believe that it won’t happen to you. There’s a possibility that it can happen to anyone.”

Angela Reyzelman, also a sophomore, believes that “the fear that something can happen always exists.”

Anisa Sarwar says “people where the shootings happened thought that it would never happen there,” but it did.

When it comes to the protection of students at Hills and the use of weaponry itself, students offered varying insight.

Freshman Jake Dillon feels that students should attempt to worry less about attending school and that our school is secure.

“You shouldn’t try to let it affect your daily life. I think what we’re doing is pretty good with the dropbox.”

On the other hand, Freshman Jessica Tozzi is very passionate about the safety of WH students and staff.

“Honestly, I feel very unsafe. We are not doing enough to protect us. There could be more that we could do. We get school ID, but we don’t even use it. We should have students wear them at all times.”

Despite the deaths and injury of so many, Sante Fe students are not taking the path of the Parkland shooting survivors and protesting for stricter gun control laws. They believe that it is the people, not guns that cause these killings, choosing to associate guns with hunting and family actives rather than violent shootings.

Dillon agrees with this point of view, mentioning “I don’t think they should restrict gun laws. It’s not about the law it’s about the people. People can get guns illegally anyway.”