The 22nd school shooting of the year has claimed at least ten lives at Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas.
Houston County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that one person is in custody and a second person is being detained. A police officer was among those injured in the shooting, where ten people were killed and a dozen others were taken to the hospital.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is being held on capital murder without bond and additional charges may follow, says the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office. Another 18-year-old is being held as an accomplice.
“There have been explosive devices found in the high school and surrounding areas adjacent to the high school,” said a tweet from the Santa Fe Independent School District (ISD). “Because of the threat of explosive items, community members should be on the look-out for suspicious packages and anything that looks out of place.”
Law enforcement is in the process of rendering safe possible explosive devices that have been located at the school and off campus. The school has been evacuated but residents of the area are told to call 911 if any suspicious item is seen.
Witnesses said the shooter began firing in a classroom at about 7:40 a.m., sending students fleeing the building, running for their lives and taking shelter at a nearby car wash.
Tyler Turner, a student, said his friends saw the gunman with a shotgun as he pulled a fire alarm, to bring students out of their classrooms.
“I was very, very scared,” said a student who hid backstage in an auditorium as the first shots rang out. The girl used a cellphone to call her mother, who told her to remain calm, breathe and follow the teachers’ directions.
“There’s little left to be said about the horrific school shooting tragedies that we’ve seen over and over – today in Texas. These are very sick acts,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “Congress and Trump must finally have the courage to stand up to the NRA and do what the American people want. Enough is enough!”
President Trump addressed the shooting before an event at the White House, calling it a “very sad day.”
“Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe,” he said.
“Today, another ten innocent people are dead,” said Lisa McCormick, a US Senate candidate in New Jersey’s upcoming Democratic primary election. “More than 214,000 students have now endured gun violence at their schools since 1999.”
“The US is the only country with a mass shooting problem, while Congress fails to enact the kind of tougher gun laws that work for all the other countries without mass shootings every other week,” said McCormick.
David Hogg, who became a nationally known advocate following the deadly slaying at his Florida high school on Valentine’s Day said, “Get ready for two weeks of media coverage of politicians acting like they give a shit when in reality they just want to boost their approval ratings before midterms.”
“We can’t allow these repeated school tragedies to become the norm in the United States. Congress must get serious about commonsense gun safety reform, and those who fail to act must be held accountable,” said Senator Robert Menendez, who has been in Congress for 25 years.
According to the Washington Post, there have been 14 school shootings in Texas since 2001.
On Jan. 22, 2018, a 16-year-old boy at Italy High School in Texas shot a 15-year-old girl he previously dated. The deadliest mass shooting in Texas occurred in Sutherland Springs, when 26 people were killed and 20 were injured during Sunday church services in November 2017.
There are multiple law enforcement agencies on site, including the FBI, ATF, Texas Department of Public Safety, local law enforcement agencies, and emergency medical teams.
“This morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The situation is active, but has been contained,” said school district spokesperson Dylan Stableford. “There have been confirmed injuries. Details will be released as we receive updated information.”
“Law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location,” said Stableford. “All other campuses are operating under their regular schedules. At this time, students from the high school are being transported by SFISD transportation to the Alamo Gym located at 13306 Highway 6. Parents may reunite with their students at this location
A video on Twitter shows a man carrying an American flag with a holstered gun on his hip saying he went to the scene of a high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, to “Make America great again.” Another man says “it’s an embarrassment.”
Guns and prayers: A man shows up to the Santa Fe High School (Texas) shooting with an American flag and a gun. Another man says "it's an embarrassment." pic.twitter.com/TAixNrJCPp
— Scott McGrew (@ScottMcGrew) May 18, 2018
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