Texas school resource officers are being praised as 'heroes' for quickly confronting the Santa Fe shooter in the middle of the attack

  • School resource officers "stepped up to the plate" and confronted the Santa Fe High School gunman during his attack, Texas officials said Friday.
  • The shooting left 10 people dead and wounded 10 others at the school.
  • The suspect has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who was arrested and is being held on a capital murder charge.

Several law-enforcement officers were praised on Friday for quickly confronting the gunman who police say killed 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas.

"When you get these calls, every police officer, no matter where you are, has to immediately engage the active shooter, period," Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told reporters. "There's no alternative. Because every second means that someone else is going to die."

McCraw credited two "brave officers" from the Santa Fe Independent School District, who he said "stepped up to the plate" and engaged the shooter.

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Shooting at Santa Fe High School
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Shooting at Santa Fe High School
Emergency crews gather in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least ten people were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. - At least ten people were killed when a student opened fire at his Texas high school on May 18, 2018, as President Donald Trump expressed 'heartbreak' over the latest deadly school shooting in the United States. The shooting took place as classes were beginning for the day at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.'There are multiple fatalities,' Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. 'There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.' (Photo by Daniel KRAMER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL KRAMER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: (Editor's Note: Best images quality available) In this handout photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, Dimitrios Pagourtzis poses for a mugshot after his arrest on May 18, 2018 in Sante Fe, Texas. Pagourtzis is suspected of killing 10 people and injuring 10 more in a mass shooting at a Sante Fe high school. (Photo by Galveston County Sheriff's Department via Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas City Police Department SWAT vehicle leaves the scene at Santa Fe High School where a shooting took place on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers are responding to Santa Fe High School following a shooting incident in this Harris County Sheriff office, Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., photo released on May 18, 2018. Courtesy HCSO/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Sen. Ted Cruz (C) speaks as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Galveston County Judge Mark Henry look on speaks during a press conference about the shooting incident at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, USA - MAY 18: Santa Fe High School closed after a lone gunman opened fire in Santa Fe, Texas, United States on May 18, 2018. At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in Texas on Friday after a gunman armed with a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver opened fire at the Santa Fe High School. (Photo by Tharindu Nallaperuma/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: ATF agents arrive on location at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, USA - MAY 18: Highway 6 closed by police officials after a lone gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, United States on May 18, 2018. At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in Texas on Friday after a gunman armed with a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver opened fire at the Santa Fe High School. (Photo by Tharindu Nallaperuma/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, USA - MAY 18: Security forces take security measures back of Santa Fe High School after a lone gunman opened fire in Santa Fe, Texas, United States on May 18, 2018. At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in Texas on Friday after a gunman armed with a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver opened fire at the Santa Fe High School. (Photo by Tharindu Nallaperuma/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, USA - MAY 18: Police direct traffic at a road closure after a lone gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, United States on May 18, 2018. At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in Texas on Friday after a gunman armed with a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver opened fire at the Santa Fe High School. (Photo by Tharindu Nallaperuma/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An FBI agent is seen in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least eight people were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. - At least eight people were killed when a student opened fire at his Texas high school on May 18, 2018, as President Donald Trump expressed 'heartbreak' over the latest deadly school shooting in the United States. The shooting took place as classes were beginning for the day at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.'There are multiple fatalities,' Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. 'There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.' (Photo by Daniel KRAMER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL KRAMER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas City Police Department SWAT vehicle leaves the scene at Santa Fe High School where a shooting took place on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL, SANTA FE, TEXAS - MAY 10, 2018: DigitalGlobe satellite imagery of Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
An FBI agent is seen in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least eight people were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. - At least eight people were killed when a student opened fire at his Texas high school on May 18, 2018, as President Donald Trump expressed 'heartbreak' over the latest deadly school shooting in the United States. The shooting took place as classes were beginning for the day at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.'There are multiple fatalities,' Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. 'There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.' (Photo by Daniel KRAMER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL KRAMER/AFP/Getty Images)
Emergency crews and police gather in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least eight people were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. - At least eight people were killed when a student opened fire at his Texas high school on May 18, 2018, as President Donald Trump expressed 'heartbreak' over the latest deadly school shooting in the United States. The shooting took place as classes were beginning for the day at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.'There are multiple fatalities,' Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. 'There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.' (Photo by Daniel KRAMER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL KRAMER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, USA - MAY 18: Security forces take security measures around the site after a lone gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, United States on May 18, 2018. At least 8 people were killed and several were wounded on shooting. (Photo by Tharindu Nallaperuma/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Emergency crews gather in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least eight people were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. - At least eight people were killed when a student opened fire at his Texas high school on May 18, 2018, as President Donald Trump expressed 'heartbreak' over the latest deadly school shooting in the United States. The shooting took place as classes were beginning for the day at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.'There are multiple fatalities,' Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. 'There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.' (Photo by Daniel KRAMER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL KRAMER/AFP/Getty Images)
An FBI agent is seen in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least ten people were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. - At least ten people were killed when a student opened fire at his Texas high school on May 18, 2018, as President Donald Trump expressed 'heartbreak' over the latest deadly school shooting in the United States. The shooting took place as classes were beginning for the day at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.'There are multiple fatalities,' Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. 'There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.' (Photo by Daniel KRAMER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL KRAMER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Emergency crews stage in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least 10 students were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Emergency crews stage in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where at least 10 students were killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: A Life Flight helicopter takes off from Santa Fe High School where a shooting took place on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Emergency medical personnel stage in the Santa Fe High School parking lot where 10 students were shot and killed on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers are responding to Santa Fe High School following a shooting incident in this Harris County Sheriff office, Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., photo released on May 18, 2018. Courtesy HCSO/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: ATF agents arrive on location at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Emergency medical personnel arrive on location at Santa Fe High School where a shooting took place on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
#KHOU 11 "Three sources telling me that at least 8 students are dead in today's Santa Fe ISD school shooting. More… https://t.co/B68g7GYq9d
BREAKING UPDATE: Staff with @utmbhealth John Sealy Hospital in Galveston says several patients en route following a… https://t.co/95MhgmDl2H
DEVELOPING: Student claims shooter used a, “sawed off shotgun and pistol” in today’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Galveston Co.
UPDATE: Shooter is a student in #SantaFeShooting, according to federal, local enforcement sources… https://t.co/CZgi8Zn1CM
We are assisting @SantaFeISD with a multiple-casualty incident at Santa Fe High School. This is no longer an active… https://t.co/XViFqsLpBS
One is in custody, a second one detained. An injured police officer is being treated, the extent of his injuries are unknown.
There are reports the gunman at Santa Fe High School threw pipe bombs into the classroom and opened fire. 8 people… https://t.co/oTikoP1d7A
#UPDATE Possible explosive devices have been located at the school and off campus. Law enforcement is in the proces… https://t.co/coVX7b7pIP
UTMB: 1 patient critical, 2 stable in fair condition. Surgery underway. Not expecting more patients. Closest L1 trauma hospital. #khou11
UTMB Hospital officials confirm John Barnes is their adult male patient listed in critical condition after Santa Fe… https://t.co/LGQIu7dd4d
.@GovAbbott confirms that there were 10 killed and 10 wounded in this morning's #SantaFe High School attack
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference about the shooting incident at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: (L-R) Sen.Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speak to the media during a press conference about the shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooting took place on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, USA - MAY 18: Pearland Police vehicle parked on Highway 6 in front of Santa Fe High School after a lone gunman opened fire in Santa Fe, Texas, United States on May 18, 2018. At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in Texas on Friday after a gunman armed with a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver opened fire at the Santa Fe High School. (Photo by Tharindu Nallaperuma/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, May 18, 2018 -- A fire truck is deployed around Santa Fe High School in Texas, the United States, on May 18, 2018. Eight to ten people have been killed after a shooter opened fire inside Santa Fe High School Friday morning in the southeast of Houston, in the U.S. state of Texas, local police said. (Xinhua/Steven Song via Getty Images)
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One of the officers, identified in local media as school resource officer John Barnes, was shot in the arm and is undergoing surgery. David Marshall, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s chief nursing officer, told media that Barnes is now in stable condition, and the bullet damaged a bone in his arm as well as a major blood vessel.

Barnes was the first person to engage the shooter on Friday and was quickly joined by the Santa Fe Independent School District police chief, who managed to pull him to safety, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said.

A Texas state trooper also joined the scene and engaged the shooter, McCraw said.

"We know that because they were willing to run into that building and engage them right now that other lives can be saved," he added. "It's absolutely important."

Gov. Greg Abbott called the officers "heroes" on Friday and thanked them for confronting the shooter.

"Their action probably ensured that more lives were not lost," Abbott said.

The suspected gunman was quickly arrested after the officers confronted him, and he has since been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a student at the school.

Pagourtzis is being held at the Galveston County Jail on a capital murder charge, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

25 PHOTOS
Aftermath of deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas
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Aftermath of deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Students embrace during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
A young boy prays during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather in prayer during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Two young girls pray during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People console each other during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a press conference about the shooting incident at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Young girls place a rose on a table during vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Associate Pastor Clint Detroot (C) of Dominion Church, speaks as Texas Governor Greg Abbott (L) and Texas Senator Ted Cruz join mourners during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Students light candles during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Mourners bow their heads in prayer during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Pastor Lucas Campbell (C) of Santa Fe Baptist Church speaks as Texas Governor Greg Abbott (L) and Texas Senator Ted Cruz join mourners during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather with candles during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather with candles during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas Governor Greg Abbott holds hands with family and friends at a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: A bible,; rose and a candle sit on a table during a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Dr. Leigh Wall, Superintendent of the Santa Fe school district speaks during a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The news of the officers' quick actions on Friday was met with some relief by the law-enforcement officials. Another school resource officer in Parkland, Florida, stood frozen outside the school building during a mass shooting that killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14.

That officer, Scot Peterson, resigned in disgrace and was pilloried in the media by the Broward County Sheriff and many of the shooting survivors and the victims' families, who said Peterson should have confronted the shooter.

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SEE ALSO: 10 people killed in shooting at Texas high school; suspected gunman arrested and explosive devices found

DON'T MISS: The suspect in the Santa Fe high-school shooting has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis

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