Suspected Texas gunman studied previous mass shootings: report

May 21 (Reuters) - The teenage boy charged with murdering eight students and two teachers during a gun rampage at a Houston-area high school on Friday studied previous mass shootings before carrying out his attack, sources told ABC News.

The accused killer, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, "used aspects of those (attacks) in his own shooting," a source told the broadcaster, without going into further details.

Classmates at the school in Santa Fe, Texas described Pagourtzis as a quiet loner who played on the football team. The attacker wore a black trench coat to school even in the Texas heat on Friday and opened fire with a .38 caliber pistol and Remington shotgun.

Multiple media accounts say the gunman taunted some of his victims, asking some hiding in a closet if they wanted to answer their ringing cell phones. "You want to get that?" the attacker said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

These are the victims of the Santa Fe shooting: 

10 PHOTOS
Victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting
See Gallery
Victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting
Cynthia Tisdale 

Cynthia's brother-in-law posted on Facebook that she "planned on one day retiring and being a full-time grandmother."

(Photo: John Tisdale/Facebook)

This is Sabika, she’s a friend of ours and she’s an exchange student from Pakistan. Today, she was killed in the sc… https://t.co/oPGdU29Apx
A tough update to bring you. @abc13houston has learned Chris Stone was one of the students killed at Santa Fe High… https://t.co/jfGERVXh4s
Family confirms this is Angelique Ramirez, one of several people killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School. 💔… https://t.co/wm2p2bG30V
Shana Fisher’s aunt Candi Thurman confirmed on Twitter her niece didn’t survive the shooting
The family of Kyle McLeod, a student at Santa Fe High School, confirmed to ABC News that the young man was killed during the shooting.
Kim Vaughn’s mother, Rhonda Hart, said in a Facebook post earlier Friday that her daughter was in first-period art class at the time of the shooting. Her family later confirmed to ABC News that she had died.
Jared Black had just turned 17 the week he was killed. His birthday party had been planned for Saturday, but now his parents must make arrangements for his funeral.
Substitute teacher Ann Perkins was one of two adults killed in the shooting. She was often affectionately referred to as “Grandma Perkins,” CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
Christian Garcia, 15, loved riding Jet Skis and night fishing with his family, The Washington Post reported.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

He spared others saying he wanted his story told. Police also found homemade pipe bombs that did not detonate.

Many of the aspects of the attack mirrored one of the worst school shootings in American history: the massacre at Columbine High School in April, 1999, in which two teenage boys with weapons hidden under trenchcoats killed 12 students and one teacher.

In that mass attack, the teenagers had a shootout with police and ultimately committed suicide.

Pagourtzis did not attempt suicide, but Texas' governor, Greg Abbott, a Republican, told reporters that the youth wanted to kill himself, citing the suspect's journals, but lacked the courage to do so.

Columbine touched off a national debate over gun control laws, gun culture, and even violence in video games. That debate still rages after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 where 20 student and six adults were killed. And also in the Parkland, Florida shooting in February where 14 students and three adults were gunned down.

"SADDENED AND DISMAYED"

Police said Pagourtzis confessed to Friday's killings after he was taken into custody, but authorities have offered no motive yet for the massacre, the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. public school in modern history.

Pagourtzis' family said in a statement it was "saddened and dismayed" by the shooting and "as shocked as anyone else" by the events. The family said it was cooperating with authorities.

Sadie Rodriguez, the mother of Santa Fe student Shana Fisher who was killed in the attack, has said in media accounts that her 16-year-old daughter had rejected four months of aggressive advances from Pagourtzis.

Fisher finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, her mother told the Los Angeles Times.

"A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like," she said. "Shana being the first one."

In Santa Fe on Sunday, many churches and businesses had signs outside with messages such as "Santa Fe strong" and "Santa Fe ISD we are here for you."

About 100 people attended an emotional service at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Jared Black, one of the students killed, attended a youth group at the church, and many of its members embraced his mother Pam when the family arrived.

At a mosque in another Houston suburb, mourners crowded around the coffin of 17-year-old Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student who died in the rampage. (Writing by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Reporting by Liz Hampton in Santa Fe, Tx; additional reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston and Ian Simpson in Washington Editing by Andrew Heavens)

25 PHOTOS
Aftermath of deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas
See Gallery
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)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story