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What We Know About The Alleged Texas High School Shooter

This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody on Friday and identified as the suspect in the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody on Friday and identified as the suspect in the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP/Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the 17-year-old who allegedly opened fire at a Texas high school Friday killing at least 10 people and wounding 10 others, has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault.

He's currently being held at Galveston County Jail with no bond, according to a tweet by Santa Fe Independent School District and has been speaking to investigators. Officials have not released a motive, but some information about the suspect is emerging.

It appears the shooting rampage at Santa Fe High School was planned. During a Friday press conference, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, said information contained in journals on Pagourtzis' computer and cell phone suggested that "not only did he want to commit the shooting, but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting."

The suspect, however, gave himself up because he "didn't have the courage" to follow through with taking his own life, Abbot said.

While the evidence points to a planned attack, students who knew the shooter provided an inconsistent description of their classmate.

Eighteen-year-old senior Tyler Ray played football for the Sante Fe Indians with the shooter, who was a defensive tackle on the junior varsity team. At a vigil for the victims in the center of Santa Fe on Friday night, Ray told NPR's John Burnett he would have never suspected Pagourtzis was capable of mass murder – he was just joking with the shooter on a field trip to a Galveston water park on Thursday, the day before the massacre.

"One day you think you know this kid, you think you can hang out with him, you can joke with him," Ray said. "And the next day he's shootin' up the school. You just never know."

But Lauren Severin, a 17-year-old junior wearing a cross around her neck, told Burnett that her impression of the murderer was very different after having a couple classes with him. She said she thinks Pagourtzis was bullied in school because he was different.

"I don't think he was normal," she said. "I think he was really strange and quiet. I wasn't surprised when I heard it was him. ... He always wears this weird trenchcoat and kind of looks like a psychopath."

The weapons that the shooter used in the attack – a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver – were not "legally possessed" by the shooter, but appear to be legally owned by the suspect's father, who was not named by authorities. It was unclear whether the father was aware his son had the weapons.

On Friday, there were reports of possible explosive devices discovered at the school, the suspect's home and in a vehicle, according to officials. Those devices were found to be fake in all but one case. Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said on Saturday that police found carbon dioxide canisters taped together and a pressure cooker with an alarm clock and nails inside at the high school, but the devices weren't capable of detonating.

Authorities say the suspect has provided a statement to police while in custody, telling investigators that he didn't shoot his classmates that he liked "so he could have his story told," the AP reports.

The governor said there is nothing at this time that would indicate there were missed warning signs, like in the case of the other mass shooters such as Devin Patrick Kelley, who killed 26 at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church in November 2017, or alleged school shooter Nikolas Cruz, who is charged with killing 17 people at a Parkland, Fla. high school in February.

"One of the frustrating things in the early status of this case is that unlike Parkland, unlike Sutherland Springs, there weren't those kinds of warning signs," Abbot said "Here the red flag warnings were either non-existent or very imperceptible."

Facebook posts allegedly linked to Pagourtzis show a black T-shirt with the words "Born to Kill" in white block letters written across the front. Authorities say he had no prior confrontations with law enforcement and has no past criminal history.

Attorneys Nicholas Poehl and Robert Barfield, who were hired by the suspect's parents to represent their son in court, are urging the public not to rush to judgment.

"I think every parent instinctively knows they don't know everything about their kids, but when you find out something like this today, it's extremely hard," Poehl told Houston TV station KTRK. "To those out their watching, try to remember these people are victims too, they didn't know and they didn't expect, and they certainly couldn't have predicted [the shooting]. Prayers to everyone in this whole mess."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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