The accused mass murderer who killed 10 people at his Texas high school surrendered meekly when police cornered him, a top federal official said Saturday.
Gunman Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, “sort of fell to the ground and surrendered,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), head of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Pagourtzis’ submissive response stood in contrast with his plan to commit suicide after opening fire at Santa Fe High School with a shotgun and a .38mm handgun that belonged to his dad.
“He admitted to investigators that he intended on killing himself, but he chickened out at the last minute,” Galveston County Magistrate Mark Henry told the Daily News.
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The case will likely be transferred Monday to a state district trial court, said Henry — who mentioned the suspect’s detached demeanor.
“He didn’t seem to exhibit any kind of emotion,” Henry said Saturday.
A second person of interest held by police in the slaughter “was acting odd,” Henry told the News. “He was found in the building, locked in a closet.”
But it was unclear if the person in custody was involved in the attack — the nation’s deadliest school shooting since the Parkland High School killing of 17 people on Feb. 14.
Nine students and one teacher were killed, with another 10 victims wounded, after the trenchcoat-clad killer opened fire.
An affidavit indicated the shooter spared the lives of certain students so “he could have his story told,” according to multiple reports.
Pagourtzis also indicated in journals kept on his computer and cell phone that he “wanted to commit the shooting,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
The suspect’s ex-girlfriend was among the students shot in an art classroom, sophomore Kole Dixon told the New York Times. Her condition remains unclear.
Pagourtzis also attempted to use explosives devices, which included at least one Molotov cocktail.
Henry said some of the devices were not functional and described carbon dioxide canisters wrapped in duct tape and a pressure cooker with an alarm clock attached to it — but no explosive device.
As for motive, Henry told The News that the initial court appearance was focused on probable cause for criminal charges rather than what set off Pagourtzis’ rampage.
Pagourtzis, who was charged with capital murder, briefly appeared in court on Friday night. He requested a public defender and did not enter a plea.
He has no prior arrests or confrontations with law enforcement.
Acquaintances described him as quiet and unassuming, although Pagourtzis shared a few alarming social media posts — including a photo of a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Born to Kill."
Another photo showed a trench coat covered with pins including an Iron Cross, a military decoration with links to Nazi Germany.
He also played on the junior varsity football team and was a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.
Laura Dimon reporting in Santa Fe, Texas
With News Wire Services