On Saturday, authorities unveiled the identity of those killed Friday morning during a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The night before, hundreds of people had laid flowers or lit candles in memory of the victims.
“I hope it will make us closer, bring something positive out of this negative event,” said Clayton George, who was playing football with alleged gunman Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
A substitute teacher and a young Pakistani exchange student are among the first confirmed victims of the shooting.
On the wounded side, there is a school policeman and a baseball player in the second year of high school.
The teacher, Cynthia Tisdale, has been married for 40 years, and is survived by three children and eight grandchildren.
Her niece, Leia Olinde, considered Mrs. Tisdale her mother. She helped her choose a wedding dress last year.
“She was wonderful, she was so loving. I have never known a woman who loved her family so much, “said the 25-year-old.
For its part, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington confirmed the death of Sabika Sheikh, who was in the United States on an exchange overseen by the YES program, the acronym for Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad.
“Know that the program is devastated by this loss and we will always remember Sabika and her family,” wrote one of the leaders, Megan Lysaght, in a letter to participants.
According to the Pakistani Association of Houston, the student was to return to her home in Pakistan for Eid el-Fitr, a three-day festival marking the end of Ramadan for Muslims.
Other victims include a second teacher, Glenda Perkins. The others, like the young Sabika, were all students of the establishment.
They are Kimberly Vaughan, Shan Fisher, Angelique Ramirez, Christian Riley Garcia, Jared Black, Christopher Jake Stone and Aaron Kyle McLeod.
A silent shooter
The alleged perpetrator of the shooting began to be questioned by the courts on Friday.
Head down, handcuffed, the 17-year-old simply answered “Yes sir”, “No sir” to a judge’s questions on procedural matters. He has been charged with aggravated murder, a crime punishable by death.
Armed with a rifle and a revolver owned by his father, he broke into a class around 8 am (9 am Eastern Daylight Time) and opened fire, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others.
The suspect exchanged “a lot of gunshots” with the police before surrendering, said Mark Henry, the chief administrator of the county.
While searching the room of the alleged gunman, the authorities discovered carbon dioxide bottles bound together by tape, as well as a pressure cooker with an alarm clock and nails inside.
The bottles were not connected to a detonator, and the pressure cooker did not contain explosives, said Henry.
“It was pretty quiet for a few seconds and then we heard someone pull” pan, pan, pan “. And everyone panicked, “told AFP Hunter Mead, 14 years.
“I ran as fast as I could to the forest and hid to call my mother,” said another student, Dakota Schrader, in tears.
I should not suffer that. It’s my school, it’s my everyday life. I’m afraid to go back.
Dakota Schrader, student
Evan San Miguel, whose left shoulder was grazed by a bullet, for her part evoked a scene “terrifying” in class.
While some of his comrades have mentioned a calm but lonely teenager, the reasons that drove the young Dimitrios to commit this massacre remain unknown.
Information found “in his newspapers, on his computer and his phone” established that the shooter planned to commit suicide after the attack he planned, said Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
One student told a local television channel that the teenager, an American football player, was a victim of harassment: “The coaches harassed and insulted him.”
According to the authorities, he had recently posted a photo on his Facebook page of a black t-shirt with the words “Born to Kill”.
But according to Governor Abbott, the signals of a passage to the act were “either non-existent or very imperceptible”.
The teenager’s family reacted by way of a statement on Saturday, saying “as shocked and confused as anyone by the events”, in addition to offering prayers and thoughts for the victims.
Relatives of the alleged perpetrator also claim to “largely ignore the details of [Friday’s] tragedy,” but that “what we have learned in the media seems to be largely inconsistent with the boy we love.”
Twenty shootings in less than a year
This is the 22nd shootings in a school in the United States since the beginning of 2018. Just three months ago, 17 people were shot dead by a 19-year-old shooter in a high school. from Parkland, Florida.
This massacre triggered a national mobilization to limit access to firearms. More than one million people, mostly young people, had demonstrated at the end of March. Political leaders have not since adopted significant legal measures.
“You did not deserve that,” instigated Emma Gonzalez, one of the leaders of the March for Our Lives movement, in a tweet. “You deserve to be at peace all your life, not just once an epitaph says it on your grave,” said the young woman.
Tina Galo is a reporter for Clear Publicist. After graduating from college, Tim got an internship at NPR and worked as a reporter and sound engineer. Tim has also worked as a reporter for VICE. Tim covers entertainment and community events for Clear Publicist.