The massacre in Santa Fe: eyewitness accounts, the motives of the perpetrator and the reaction of the authorities
Author: Paul Cote
The assailant fired deliberately, leaving alive those who he liked. Photo: Depositphotos
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The morning of 18 may not Bode nothing wrong with high school students in Santa Fe and her staff. But everything changed in one moment. Immediately after the start of the first lesson in class drawing included 17-year-old Dimitrios, Pagaltzis and after the phrase “Surprise!” he began to methodically shoot students.
Dimitrios, Pagaltzis always been aloof guy. Photo: SFPD
According to eyewitnesses, one of the first killed 63-year-old teacherwho didn’t even have time to figure out what happened. Next came the turn of students of the school, which began in terror to rush in search of asylum. The assailant fired deliberately, leaving alive those who he liked. The student, knowing Pagaltzis personally, admitted that the murderer, passing by his friends, gave them a chance to escape. According to police, the shooter wanted them told his story to others.
Peter Matuza, which was at the time of the attack, drawing class, heard the gunshots did not realize what had happened. The cries of the other students and the General panic forced the boy to dive for cover under the table. He was an involuntary witness to the death of his friend, which an attacker shot with a shotgun. At some point Peter made eye contact with Pagaltzis, whose face, he said, was “distorted anger“.
After a few shots, the shooter moved to the next room, and continued shooting there. ZEF núñezfamiliar with the killer personally, had to jump under the table before his side flew the bullets. Together with another classmate he waited for a moment when the shooter starts to reload and ran out of the class. Running away, he clearly remembered the black cloak, who loved to wear, Pagaltzis.
The suspect was wearing a black cloak. Photo: Depositphotos
Dakota Schrader, near the epicenter of the fire, recalls with horror the events. As soon as he heard the screams, and the children began to run out of class, the girl tried to hide in the nearest room and immediately started to call mother. Due to asthma attack for a long time she could not explain to the families what is happening in the school.
“I heard the fire alarm and suddenly everything began to flee. First, shouts “run, Run!“, and then just boom, boom, boom, “—said Dakota.
Another student, who asked not to be named, not fighting back tears, said: “I’m afraid to go back. It is simply impossible to survive. I’m not surprised what happened, because it happens all the time, and I asked myself: what if this happens in our school?“.
After the arrest of the offender, the police searched the school and found several improvised explosive devices. As main weapon the killer used a shotgun and a revolver of his father.
According to the latest data, during the shooting killed 10 people, including 8 students and 2 teachers. Wounded 14 people.
Introvert and loner with a gun in his hand
Dimitrios, Pagaltzis always been secretive wallflower. Friends describe him as a vicious young man, who nevertheless tried to take part in the social life of the institution. He played football, was engaged in dancing collective of the Greek Church, and loved computer games.
However, the relationship with the majority of students the guy was not good. In addition, people who know Pagaltzis, saying that it poisoned even some teachers. He planned next year to go into the army to become a marine. Always wore a black cloak, even in 30-degree heat. This fact so disturbed a former member of the school football team Brighton & Sambisathat he even appealed to the school management with the request to pay attention to Dimitrios. According to Sambisa, the school management did not respond to the message properly.
In the online diary the attacker has a message about his intention to commit suicide immediately after the attack, but it had not enough spirit. As later told the police, who detained the attacker, Pagaltzis asked them not to shoot.
Many experts and activists have noted the similarity of the crime to mass murder in school the Columbine, where local students, Harris and Klebold took the life of 15 people and wounded 27. The young people were dressed in black cloaks and laid in the school building pipe bombs. Pagaltzis, claims he acted alone, but police do not trust his statements and have detained one of the students at the school on suspicion of assisting the offender. His name is not called.
Law enforcement can’t name the tune that made 17-year-old boy to kill 10 people. However, detectives say that on this step it could push a difficult relationship with other students and dissatisfaction with their lives.
It’s time to do something
Since the beginning of 2018 is already 22 incident of firing in educational institutions of the United States. Immediately after news of the crime in Santa Fe Governor of new York Andrew Cuomo appealed to the President Trump “to do something“. In an open letter to the politician criticized the President for the lack of a clear plan of action to prevent mass shootings.
“Where the hell is called “enough”? How many more must die, innocent people, before You start to do something?” , — reads the statement of the Governor.
The US President expressed his condolences to the families of the victims in the shooting in Texas, but concrete steps to overcome the crisis has not called so far.
“For too long this happens in our country. We all mourn the terrible loss of life and helmet our support for all who suffered in this crime, “—responded to the event by Donald trump.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also expressed words of support to the victims and said: “now is the time to make sure such a tragedy will never happen again“.
According to the politician, soon will be meeting with parents, students and staff of educational institutions, during which decisions, intended to exclude the possibility of committing such crimes.