Ten dead in Texas high school shooting | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 18.05.2018
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Ten dead in Texas high school shooting

The suspect has been identified as a 17-year-old male student from the school. US President Donald Trump has expressed "sadness and heartbreak" over the incident.

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A gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday, killing 10 people, including students.

The incident is the latest in a series of shootings at US schools and universities. In February, a gunman killed 17 students and staff members at a Florida high school, intensifying a national debate over gun control and gun rights.

What we know so far

  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed the casualties, saying 10 people were dead and 10 more wounded in the shooting at the school in Santa Fe, around 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Houston.
  • Abbott said the suspect and two other people had been taken into custody. 
  • The suspect has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who was a junior (third-year student) at the school.
  • He has been charged with murder and was denied bail.
  • The governor said the suspect originally intended to commit suicide but gave himself up.
  • The boy is suspected of using his father's sawed-off shotgun and semi-automatic pistol. Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said investigators were determining if the shotgun's shortened barrel is legal.
  • Homemade explosive devices were found in the suspect's home and a vehicle as well as around the school and nearby. They included pipe bombs and "pressure-cooker-type-bombs" similar to those used in the Boston Marathon attack in 2013, according to Cornyn.
  • Pagourtzis had recently posted a picture of him wearing a "Born to Kill" t-shirt on his Facebook page.
  • Shots broke out at about 8 a.m. local time (1300 UTC), shortly after the start of school.

Trump expresses 'heartbreak'

US President Donald Trump expressed "sadness and heartbreak" over the incident.

Trump described it as "absolutely horrific" and said, "This has been going on too long in our country."

"My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves, and to others," he added.

Vice President Mike Pence said he and the president were monitoring the situation.

Governor Abbott called Friday's shooting "one of the most heinous attacks that we've ever seen in the history of Texas schools."

Mass shootings: The United States, where the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution, has struggled with gun violence for decades. The country has seen more than 100 mass shootings this year, with nearly 130 killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a database that tracks gun violence incidents. It classifies mass shootings as events in which four or more people were shot at around the same time and place.

ap/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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