Shootout between Texas school gunman and deputies lasted 25 minutes

In a Facebook post Saturday titled "longest day of my life," she said her daughter told her the gunman was "yelling Woo Hoo!" as he fired in the classroom next door.

Posted: May 21, 2018 7:08 AM
Updated: May 21, 2018 7:13 AM

(CNN) -- The gunfire tearing through Santa Fe High School didn't stop for half an hour. And during that time, Texas deputies were in a 25-minute shootout with the gunman, authorities said.

By the end of the melee, eight students and two teachers were killed. The suspect was taken into custody. And once again, the country is grappling with yet another school massacre.

The investigation
New details are emerging about what happened Friday at Sante Fe High, a school of about 1,500 students.

Texas governor to convene discussions on gun violence

Officers arrived at the school's art lab section about four minutes into the shooting and engaged the shooter right away, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset told CNN.

But it's unclear whether all the victims were shot by the suspect, or whether some were shot by deputies during the crossfire. Trochesset said authorities are waiting for the medical examiner's autopsies to make that determination.

A "decent amount of cameras in the school" will help investigators piece together a timeline, Trochesset said.

The suspect told an investigator he acted alone and spared people he liked because he wanted his story told, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The victims include a girl who rejected the suspect
One of the students killed, Shana Fisher, had rejected the suspect's advances for months, her mother Sadie Baze said. Finally, about a week ago, she stood up to him in the middle of class to proclaim she would not go out with him.

Baze said she believes the incident embarrassed the suspect so much that he targeted Shana. "One of the shotgun shells was for my daughter," she said.

Shana had turned 16 days earlier.

Another student killed, Jared Black, turned 17 last week and was supposed to have a birthday party Saturday.

The massacre also claimed the lives of students Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student; Chris Stone; Angelique Ramirez; Christian Riley Garcia; Aaron Kyle McLeod; and Kimberly Vaughan. Teachers Glenda Ann Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale were also killed.

The people hospitalized included retired Houston police Officer John Barnes, who served as a resource officer at the school and confronted the gunman.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted Friday that he had visited Barnes in the hospital, and he was "hanging in there."

The suspect yelled 'Woo Hoo!'
Authorities identified the gunman as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17. He was armed with a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun, both legally owned by his father, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Deedra Van Ness' daughter, Isabelle Laymance, survived the shooting by hiding in a classroom closet.

In a Facebook post Saturday titled "longest day of my life," she said her daughter told her the gunman was "yelling Woo Hoo!" as he fired in the classroom next door.

Pagourtzis is being held without bail and is accused of capital murder of multiple people and aggravated assault on a public servant. He has not entered a plea.

Attorneys Robert Barfield and Nicholas Poehl said they had met with Pagourtzis for two 30-minute visits. Barfield said his client is "not doing well" and is "confused."

The suspect won't face the death penalty if he is convicted. Under Texas law, offenders who are under age 18 and charged with a capital offense face a maximum punishment of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

The controversial response
While the massacre reignited the debate over gun control, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said guns aren't to blame. Instead, he put the blame on issues such as abortion, violent video games and the lack of armed teachers.

"The video games issue, we have got to address in this country. Based on all the research we have done, 97%, according to psychologists and psychiatrists ... of teenagers view video games, and 85% of those video games are violent," Patrick said Sunday.

"And what are these games showing you how to do? Kill people. ... The vast majority [of psychologists and psychiatrists] will tell you it leads them to become numb to violence, to have less empathy to their victims and be more aggressive. Does that impact everyone who views them? No, but it obviously is part of the problem."

He also made a connection between violent video games and abortions.

"We have 50 million abortions. We have families that are broken apart, no fathers at home. We have incredible heinous violence as a [video] game, two hours a day in front of their eyes," Patrick said. "And we stand here and we wonder why this happens to certain students."

The lieutenant governor also said more armed teachers would help avert school massacres.

"We have to arm our teachers," he said. "If another person has a gun, the best way to stop that person is with another person with a gun. But an even better way is four people with a gun to stop that person."

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
Florence
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 61°
Fayetteville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Scottsboro
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 54°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 232061

Reported Deaths: 2922
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34370552
Davidson29801325
Knox1183387
Hamilton11097102
Rutherford11031106
Williamson661848
Sumner5636107
Wilson440253
Putnam411053
Montgomery385751
Out of TN379435
Unassigned37653
Madison361378
Bradley340821
Sullivan318844
Sevier314920
Blount310231
Washington308043
Maury307435
Robertson248539
Hamblen232743
Tipton219222
Gibson205437
Dyer202326
Hardeman178732
Coffee176020
Trousdale17407
Obion163617
Bedford159020
Dickson156218
Wayne15607
Greene155650
Anderson155513
Loudon154010
Fayette152022
McMinn150832
Cumberland148924
Lawrence146217
Jefferson145818
Weakley143425
Carter141532
Henderson135425
Monroe134823
Warren13399
Hardin131319
Lauderdale130818
Macon125724
Franklin121115
Haywood119025
Roane11857
Overton111211
Johnson11046
Hawkins109923
Carroll109324
McNairy108825
White107614
Marshall10528
Rhea104816
Cheatham96911
Lake9683
Smith93313
Bledsoe9244
Cocke92212
Giles89234
Campbell8647
Fentress8497
Lincoln8012
Crockett76620
Henry74110
Hickman73913
Chester71214
Marion6999
DeKalb67216
Decatur62511
Grainger5314
Grundy5168
Claiborne4956
Union4932
Polk46913
Jackson4165
Humphreys4094
Morgan4086
Houston38914
Benton3879
Cannon3862
Unicoi3641
Clay36312
Lewis3502
Sequatchie3294
Scott3244
Stewart3087
Meigs2944
Moore2452
Pickett2445
Perry2041
Van Buren1911
Hancock1123

Community Events