Two police officers confronted the Santa Fe High School shooting suspect four minutes after he began his rampage. The officers briefly exchanged gunfire with him and talked to him for 25 minutes before he surrendered, authorities revealed on Monday.
Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said he believes none of the eight students and two teachers killed in the shooting Friday had been caught in the crossfire between officers and 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
“From what I see, I don’t believe any of the individuals that were killed were from the law enforcement,” Trochesset said at a press conference. “I can’t give you that full until the autopsy.”
“There were minimal shots fired, at least from us, from law enforcement,” he added. “But the individual was still trying to shoot us.”
The two officers — one of whom was critically wounded — were stationed at the school and “contained” the suspect as nearly 200 police arrived to the scene. Trochesset referred to the officers as “heroes,” noting that the work of the two first responders helped save lives. “It gave the opportunity for the other officers to continue to evacuate the school,” Trochesset added.
He later said: “Luckily, the body count’s not higher.”
Police identified Pagourtzis, a student at the Santa Fe, Texas high school, as the suspect in the attack. Authorities said he used his father’s guns — a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver — to carry out the attack. He is now held at Galveston County Jail on capital murder with no bond. Trochesset said the suspect is now on “suicide watch”.
Eight students and two teachers were killed as a result of the attack last week. Among the victims included Sabika Sheik, a student from Pakistan who was studying in Texas as part of a U.S. State Department program. Another Cynthia Tisdale, a substitute teacher who worked two jobs to take care of her sick husband, according to CNN.