SANTA FE, Texas (AP) — A law enforcement official has identified a person in custody in the Houston-area school shooting as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
Pagourtzis plays on the Santa Fe High School junior varsity football team, and is a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.
A woman who answered the phone at a number associated with the Pagourtzis family declined to speak with the AP.
She said: “Give us our time right now, thank you.”
Father Stelios Sitaras of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, Texas, said he met Pagourtzis when the young man danced with a group as part of an annual festival in October. He said the Pagourtzises are members of a nearby parish.
Sitaras said he had never heard of the teen being in any sort of trouble.
“He is a quiet boy,” the priest said. “You would never think he would do anything like this.”
Tristen Patterson is a junior at Sante Fe high School, where at least eight people were killed in the shooting Friday morning.
Patterson says Pagourtzis didn’t show signs of being bullied, but that he rarely talked about himself.
He says Pagourtzis would sometimes enter the classroom “acting a little bit down or sad. A little bit sluggish. … But he never talked about why.”
Pagourtzis reportedly opened fire at a Houston-area high school Friday, killing eight to 10 people, most of them students, authorities said.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he could not be precise about the number of deaths at Santa Fe High School, which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. One person was in custody, and a second person had been detained, he said.
An unknown number of possible explosive devices were found at the school and off campus. Authorities were in the process of rendering them safe and asked the public to call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
It was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since the February attack in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and re-energized the gun-control movement after surviving teens launched a campaign for reform.
#BREAKING Live coverage of active shooting at Santa Fe High School. Details as we get them at http://bit.ly/2k8Vyzz. #SantaFe #SantaFeShooting #TexasShooting #SantaFeStrong #hounews #KPRC2
Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Friday, May 18, 2018
The district confirmed an unspecified number of injuries but said it would not immediately release further details. A school police officer was shot, officials said, but there was no immediate word on his condition.
“We hope the worst is over, and I really can’t say any more about that because it would be pure speculation,” Assistant Principal Cris Richardson told reporters at the scene.
Aerial footage showed students standing in a grassy field and three medical helicopters landing at the school in Santa Fe, a city of about 13,000 people roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Houston.
School officials said law enforcement officers were working to secure the building and move students to another location. Students were being transported to another location to reunite with their parents.
One student told Houston television station KTRK in a telephone interview that a gunman came into her first-period art class and started shooting. The student said she saw one girl with blood on her leg as the class evacuated the room.
“We thought it was a fire drill at first but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,'” the student told the television station.
The student said she did not get a good look at the shooter because she was running away. She said students escaped through a door at the back of the classroom.
Authorities did not immediately confirm that report.
The shooting was all but certain to re-ignite the national debate over gun regulations. In the aftermath of the Feb. 14 attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, survivors pulled all-nighters, petitioned city councils and state lawmakers, and organized protests in a grass-roots movement.
Within weeks, state lawmakers adopted changes, including new weapons restrictions. The move cemented the gun-friendly state’s break with the National Rifle Association. The NRA fought back with a lawsuit.
In late March, the teens spearheaded one of the largest student protest marches since Vietnam in Washington and inspired hundreds of other marches from California to Japan.
By MICHAEL BIESECKER, JEFF HORWITZ and JUAN A. LOZANO , Associated Press
Biesecker and Horwitz reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington and John Mone in Santa Fe contributed.