The Latest: Ex-colleague updates injured officer’s condition

May 21, 2018
Nathan Jordan, 18, a senior student at Alvin High School sobs during a service at the Arcadia First Baptist Church two days after a shooting that killed 10 people at the Santa Fe High School, Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle via AP)

SANTA FE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas school shooting (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

A former colleague says a police officer critically wounded in a shooting rampage at Santa Fe High School had left a big-city police department for the small-town school district to “go to an easier life.”

Santa Fe school district police Officer John Barnes has been upgraded from critical to stable condition at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, after surgery to repair his badly damaged arm.

Capt. Jim Dale of the Houston Police Department had been Barnes’ sergeant when both worked together in Houston. Dale, who is serving as the Barnes family’s spokesman, says Barnes spent 22 years with the Houston police before retiring the joining the Santa Fe school district police force about six months ago.

Dale said Barnes remains on a ventilator and had lost a lot of blood from his wound. He said doctors worried at one point he would lose the arm but now believe it’s been saved. Barnes can open his hands and has movement in his limbs.


5:30 p.m.

A Texas sheriff says he doesn’t think any additional students were shot at Santa Fe High School after officers confronted the shooter but can’t make a final determination until autopsies are completed.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset says a school resource officer responded to the scene within four minutes after the shooting began. He says other officers quickly arrived and were able contain the suspect, preventing him from going to other classrooms.

Trochesset said more than 50 deputies from his department went to the scene, in addition to numerous others from additional agencies. After officers responded, a single negotiator talked to the gunman.


4:50 p.m.

A sheriff says officers were able to “engage” the shooter at a Texas school four minutes after they were called to the scene.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset says the shooter was contained Friday afternoon, with minimal gunfire from law enforcement officers. He says that allowed the rest of Santa Fe High School to be evacuated safely.

How much time elapsed from the moment gunfire erupted until the last victim was shot remains unclear.

Trochesset said 200 officers from law enforcement agencies throughout the region converged on the scene Friday.

Seventenn-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis remains in the Galveston County Jail without bond and under suicide watch, charged with capital murder.

Also, Santa Fee school officials announced Monday that students won’t return to classes until after Memorial Day — on Tuesday, May 29.


4:15 p.m.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has invited state lawmakers from both parties, top education officials and experts on school marshal programs and school architecture and design to the first of three roundtable discussions on curbing future school shootings.

Tuesday’s initial discussion will be held at Abbott’s state Capitol office. He has pledged to subsequently hear from advocates on all sides of the gun debate, as well as victims of a November mass shooting at a church in the town of Sutherland Springs.

Abbott said the goal is to seek “solutions to make our schools more secure and to keep our communities safe.”

Rep. Chris Turner, head of the Democratic Caucus in the Texas House, said in a statement Monday: “While discussions to generate consensus are welcome, we believe we also have a responsibility to act immediately.”


2:40 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says senators and all Americans “stand in mourning, sorrow and sympathy” with the town of Santa Fe, Texas, where 10 people were fatally shot at a school.

Three days after the nation’s latest mass shooting at a school, the Kentucky Republican opened Monday’s Senate session saying, “No community should ever be subject to such horror and heartbreak.”

He made no mention of taking any legislative steps to curb guns, something most Republicans have long opposed.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis is a 17-year-old student at Santa Fe High School. He is being held on capital murder charges in the killings of eight students and two staff members Friday at the school, which is south of Houston.


12:30 p.m.

A student says her friend was killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School as he attempted to barricade the art classroom from the attacker and help others escape.

Jai Gillard told The Associated Press on Monday that Christian Garcia at one point was leaning against a door to prevent the gunman from getting inside. Gillard says she saw Garcia move to help two others get off the floor before she fled.

Garcia, the two he tried to assist and seven others were killed in Friday’s shooting at the school south of Houston.

Authorities have charged a 17-year-old student in the attack. Gillard says the gunman kept shooting despite a fire alarm to alert authorities.

She says she still hears the bullets and remembers the “fear on people’s faces.”


11:10 a.m.

Texas students are laying flowers and photos at the base of 10 white crosses outside the high school where a gunman opened fire on classmates and others.

A 17-year-old student is being held on capital murder charges in Friday’s fatal shooting of eight students and two staff members at Santa Fe High School, south of Houston.

On Monday, students placed photos and flowers at the crosses erected outside the school for each person who died in the attack. More than a dozen other people were injured.

Earlier Monday, the students joined dozens of other people who gathered at the school for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the attack.

The school has been closed in wake of the shooting.


9:05 a.m.

A statewide moment of silence is planned to recognize those killed and wounded in the shooting at a high school south of Houston.

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked that people across Texas pause at 10 a.m. Monday to remember the 10 people killed at Santa Fe High School on Friday and the more than dozen others who were injured.

Abbott said in a statement Sunday that the “act of evil” has “deeply touched the core of who we are as Texans.”

He asks that the families of the shooting victims and first responders also be honored as part of the moment of silence.

A 17-year-old student has been jailed on capital murder charges.


11:45 p.m.

Santa Fe High School students and local authorities are confronting challenges borne of the shooting that took the lives of eight students and two substitute teachers at the school near Houston.

The school’s graduating seniors heard a speech from Jack Roady, the Galveston County district attorney, on Sunday during their baccalaureate service. He told them about how they will grieve their slain schoolmates and cope with those emotions and others while trying to heal after the shooting.

Santa Fe, a town of 13,000, came together Sunday for prayer services at local churches and the traditional end-of-school baccalaureate service. Mourners also gathered at a Houston-area mosque to remember the life of a slain exchange student from Pakistan.

A 17-year-old student has been jailed on capital murder charges.

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