HOUSTON – The Texas governor has confirmed ten people were killed and 10 others injured in a shooting by a student at a high school on Friday.
The attacker, who is in police custody on murder charges, was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old pupil at Santa Fe High School.
He allegedly used a shotgun and revolver apparently taken from his father, who legally owned the weapons.
Santa Fe is a semi-rural commuter-belt city of about 13,000 residents located 30 miles (48km) south-east of Houston.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said “various kinds of explosive devices” had been found at the school, 40 miles (65km) south of Houston, and off-campus.
These included “a CO2 device” and “a Molotov cocktail”, he added.
The Republican governor said police had found information on the suspect’s diary, computer and mobile phone suggesting he planned the attack.
The teenager wanted to take his own life afterwards, but “gave himself up” because “he didn’t have the courage to commit the suicide”.
President Donald Trump, speaking at a prison reform event at the White House, described the attack as “absolutely horrific”.
We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School – we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever… pic.twitter.com/LtJ0D29Hsv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves, and to others,” he added.
He ordered flags to be flown at half-mast at the White House and all public and military buildings.
The Texas attack is the deadliest school shooting since the one in February at Parkland, Florida.
That assault left 17 dead and spawned a nationwide youth-led campaign for gun control.
Earlier this week, a police officer was able to stop a former student who opened fire at an Illinois high school before anyone was injured.
There have been 133 “mass” shootings — where four or more people are shot — in the United States so far in 2018, resulting in 195 dead and 454 wounded, according to the CBC News.