Gunshots rang out in the halls of Santa Fe High School Friday morning sending students scattering for safety. A 15-year-old student named Abel San Miguel hid with a few of his classmates in an art class storage closet. The next few minutes would be sheer terror for the teens as a barrel of a shotgun became visible through the door. The 17-year-old shooter who is also a student of the high school opened fire on the storage closet Miguel.
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/26439-Breaking-Santa-Fe-Shooter-Suspect-In-Custody-One-Person-Of-Interest-Detained">#Breaking: Santa Fe Shooter Suspect In Custody, One Person Of Interest Detained</a>
The barrage killed at least one student inside the closet, and a shot grazed Abel's back before the shooter briefly left the room. In the momentary pause of gunfire, Abel and the other students exited the closet and attempted to barricade the door. At that moment the shooter pushed open the door and angrily shouted "Surprise!" before shooting the student in the chest. Abel said in an interview, "I'm still trying to process everything."
The shooting left nine students and one teacher dead as well and another thirteen injured before the shooter was apprehended by police. One police officer who confronted the shooter is clinging to life and suffered severe injuries to his arm from a shotgun blast. The family of the shooter, who was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtiz, released a statement that said they were "as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events that occurred."
<i>"We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy. While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday's tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love."</i>
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The parents of one of the victims revealed that Pagourtiz had harassed constantly over a period of several months. Shana Fisher's mother said she "had 4 months of problems from this boy. He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no." When Pagourtzis' advances did not stop, she finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class. "A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like. Shana being the first one."
The mother of another student who survived to tell her story of the shooting wrote about it in a post on Facebook. It it, Deedra Van Ness described how "The gunman then comes back into their room and they hear him saying … are you dead? Then more shots are fired. By this time, cell phones all over the classroom are ringing and he's taunting the kids in the closet asking them … do you think it's for you? do you want to come answer it? Then he proceeds to fire more bullets into the closet and tries to get in." Ten minutes later, the police arrived and took Pagourtzis into custody.
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Bullying, humiliation, rejection - all reasons for those who teeter on the brink of normality and madness to tip over. If someone acts strange or too persistent in any way, they should be reported. It is the right thing to do so they may get help. It is important that schools add trained, armed guards at entrances to prevent such shooting in the future. Get a shooter before he enters a school.