SANTA FE, Texas (Reuters) – A 17-year-old student armed with a shotgun and pistol opened fire at his Texas high school on Friday, killing nine fellow students and a teacher, authorities said, in an attack with eerie echoes of the massacre at a Florida high school in February.
Students said the gunman, identified by law enforcement as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, opened fire in an art class at Santa Fe High School shortly before 8 a.m. Students and staff fled after seeing classmates wounded and a fire alarm triggered a full evacuation.
Pagourtzis was denied bail at a brief court appearance later in the day, where he appeared shackled and wearing a green prison jumpsuit. He spoke in a soft voice and said “Yes sir” when asked if he wanted a court-appointed attorney, along with other questions.
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Ten people were also wounded in the attack, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who said the suspect left behind explosive devices.
“Not only did he want to commit the shooting, but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting,” Abbott said, citing a police review of the suspect’s journals. “He didn’t have the courage to commit suicide.”
Reporting by Liz Hampton and Erwin Seba; Additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Houston, Gina Cherelus and Peter Szekely in New York and Mark Hosenball and Ian Simpson in Washington; Writing by Daniel Wallis, Scott Malone and Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Leslie Adler