Teen held in Texas attack described as quiet, unassuming

The Texas student in custody in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School is described as quiet and unassuming, an avid video game player who routinely wore a black trench coat and black boots to class.

Two law enforcement officials have identified a person in custody in the Houston-area school shooting as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the shooting and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pagourtzis had played football on the school’s junior varsity squad and danced as part of a church group. Those who know him expressed shock Friday that he might be involved in the killings.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 10 people have died and 10 more were wounded in what was the nation’s deadliest such attack since the shooting at a Florida high school in February that gave rise to a campaign by teenagers for gun control.

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. In addition to Pagourtzis, a second person has also been detained, he said.

An unknown number of possible explosive devices were found at the school and at a separate site nearby.

A woman who answered the phone at a number associated with the Pagourtzis family declined to speak with The Associated Press.

“Please don’t call us. Give us our time right now, thank you,” she said.

Tristen Patterson, a 16-year-old junior at Sante Fe, considered Pagourtzis a friend. He said Pagourtzis was into video games that simulated war, and that he sometimes talked about guns — firearms that he liked or wanted to get. “But he never talked about killing people or anything like that,” Patterson said.

He said Pagourtzis didn’t show signs of being bullied but also rarely talked about himself. In one of their classes, Pagourtzis would sometimes enter the room “acting a little bit down or sad. A little bit sluggish,” Patterson said.

“But he never talked about why,” he said.

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.”

Logan Roberds, an 18-year-old senior, said he was shocked to learn that Pagourtzis might be involved in the shooting.

“He’s a very nice, caring kid,” said Roberds, who shared some classes with Pagourtzis. “He’s very chill.”

Roberds said Pagourtzis had friends and was fond of wearing a trench coat.

“That was just his style,” Roberds said.

Michael Farina, 17, said he grew up with Pagourtzis and would play video games with him. He said Pagourtzis knew a lot about guns and remembered him asking which one he should get when he was older.

“I’m kind of dumbfounded. We didn’t get any warning,” Farina said.

He said a black trench coat and black boots was Pagourtzis’s regular outfit to school. “I guess you could say it was his kind of style,” Farina said. He said he wasn’t someone who got into trouble and described him as a “run of the mill” student.

 

This article provided by NewsEdge.