The Santa Fe gunman was reportedly 'cheering himself' and taunted students during his attack

The Houston Chronicle/Michael Ciaglo via Associated PressSanta Fe High School students embrace outside the Alamo Gym where students and parents wait to reunite, May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas.
  • Parents and students of Santa Fe High School in Texas described a horrifying account of the shooting that killed 10 people and injured 13 others on Friday.
  • The suspected shooter, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, reportedly taunted his victims during the attack.
  • The mother of one of the students described her daughter’s harrowing encounter in an emotional Facebook post.

Parents and students of Santa Fe High School in Texas described a horrifying account of the shooting that killed 10 people and injured 13 others on Friday, with some saying the gunman taunted his victims during the attack.

When the suspected shooter, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, began firing at classrooms on Friday morning, 15-year-old Abel San Miguel said he hid with other students in a storage closet, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Pagourtzis began firing at the door where the students hid, killing at least one and injuring Miguel.

When Pagourtzis decided to leave the room, Miguel told The Times that he and other students tried barricading the door – only to find Pagourtzis pushing it open. Pagourtzis had reportedly seen a student that he knew and said “surprise” in anger before shooting the student’s chest.

“I’m still trying to process everything,” Miguel said to The Times.

Deedra Van Ness, the mother of 15-year-old student Isabelle Laymance, described the moment her daughter told her what was happening in a Facebook post titled “The longest day of my life:”

“I got home, walked upstairs and my phone rang. I noticed her name on the screen and figured she forgot something. As I answer the phone, she is whispering and I can barely understand her. Then I hear her whisper….mum, they are shooting up the school, I’m hiding in a closet. I love you mum. In the background, I hear gunfire. I beg her to stay on the phone and she says other kids with her want to call their parents and don’t have phones. I beg her not to hang up as the call drops. I was frozen, standing there with no idea what to do next.”

Van Ness went on to discuss what Laymance heard during the shooting.

“They hear the gunman in the classroom next door yelling Woo Hoo! and firing more shots,” Van Ness wrote. “The gunman then comes back into their room and they hear him saying….are you dead?”

“By this time, cell phones all over the classroom are ringing and he’s taunting the kids in the closet asking them….do you think it’s for you? do you want to come answer it?,” Van Ness said in the Facebook post. “Then he proceeds to fire more bullets into the closet and tries to get in.”

Laymance also recounted the incident to The Washington Post: “He was looking at the bodies,” she said. “He was like cheering himself on.”

After law-enforcement officials arrived at the scene, Pagourtzis reportedly exchanged gunfire with them for about 15 minutes, according to an official. Pagourtzis eventually surrendered and is being held in the Galveston County Jail without bond on a capital murder charge.

Pagourtzis, who waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the shooting, said “he did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told,” according to an affidavit.

Eight students and two teachers were killed in the shooting.

The Santa Fe High School shooting comes just months after another massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, in which 17 people were killed in Parkland, Florida. That shooting, as have many others, reignited a nationwide discussion over gun rights and gun control.

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