tv The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino FOX News May 18, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
in on that and all of the families going through this. and now, the investigation moving forward. in moments we'll hear from the governor of the great state of texas, abbott. i'm harris, here's dana. >> dana: breaking news. at least eight people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a texas high school. police say they have also found possible explosive devices around the school and nearby. i'm dana perino. this is "the daily briefing". >> in a horrifying situation in los angeles, a shooting happened this morning in santa fe high school 30 miles southeast of houston. police say they have a suspect and a person of interest in custody. >> dana: you can see the students running from the school with their hands up. they describe running for their lives and seeing their friends injured. >> my friend got shot. as soon as the alarms went off, everybody started running
outside. the next thing you know everybody looks and you hear boom, boom, boom! i just ran as fast as i could to the nearest forest to hide. i called my mom. >> i saw some girl. she got shot in the kneecap. had a bandage and limping. fireman came and got her. >> she called me and said, "mom, there were shots at the school." i turned around and got here as quick as i could. i got on the phone and told her to stay quiet, stay calm, breathe. and just waiting and waiting and waiting and finally they were leading her out of the school. thank god she's okay. >> thank god she's okay. many others are not. this is the seventh school shooting this year and the second deadliest since the marjory stoneman douglas in parkland, florida.
casey stegall is on the way to santa fe high school and joins us live on the phone. >> we jumped in the vehicle in dallas this morning the moment the news broke and we have been making our way down through the state of texas. across houston. this community is about 36 miles or so to the southeast of houston. it's actually in galveston county. for people who know texas, this is one of the areas hardest hit in hurricane harvey. and right now in santa fe, parents are picking up the children. scene of pandemonium still as you can imagine. police are trying to secure the school. they are going through room by room to make sure it is safe. the shooting started this morning. one witness says the gunman walked in an art class. it was first period. he had a sawed-off shotgun and started shooting. students report hearing multiple gunshots. at some point there are conflicting reports that you have been hearing about all morning. but the school's fire alarm
went off, either before or after the shooting started so the students scrambled to get out of the school. once people realized what was happening, teachers and staff began yelling to run. we know that out of the at least eight who died, it's unclear how many are students. how many are adults. teachers, if there are any police officers involved. we just know it's a devastating loss. >> it is. the thing is we talk about this. the explosive devices placed as the sheriff says both on the campus and off the campus. it takes us back to columbine because in the days of columbine, that was supposed to be an explosive event, right? they had the propane bombs planted inside the school. they had other bombs planted in the cars. that was the initial thing. this is a good indication experts say there might have been help for we talk about klebold being involved in that. when you have explosives now the first thing that
investigators will look at, and they have a person of interest in custody, is whether or not there was more help. that is where social media comes in to try to find out what the mindset of the kid is. >> also, social media and students' cell phones. nowadays this is a time when most kids have iphone or some kind of a smartphone that can record h.d. video. so, in fact, already, we have seen the local authorities on the ground in santa fe putting out calls for help. they are asking that if anyone, students, faculty members that was inside the school this morning that they have some video or cell phone pictures that they turn it over to police because it could be considered valuable evidence. you mentioned explosive devices. we have heard reports on the local channels that have been described as "pipe bombs" found inside the actual high school. but in terms of the specifics
as far as how many were found, where, you know, things like that, we simply don't know. you take it to another level when you hear of reports that there may be explosive devices planted around the school, the community around. so we have also seen law enforcement putting out information to the public as well. like we saw in austin in the serial bomber when that man was on the loose. we have seen police even asking the public that lives around the high school there in santa fe to remain extra vigilant and call in any suspicious packages, unattended packages, things like that. it's a very active, a fluid situation as these typically are. multifaceted investigation involving multiple agencies. state, local and federal. >> yeah. casey stegall on his way to the scene. we will get back to you when you are live on scene. dana, they talk about this all the time. we have a questioning why it takes so long for the officers
to get in and clear the school. they have to go through every locker and every closet and every classroom because they don't know if there are explosive devices and they have to balance that with going in for the students who might be gravely injured and need help. so it's a delegate balance when you do that stuff. >> dana: we have been hearing how they been doing repeated drills at school, law enforcement, and at the hospitals. we are awaiting right now a press conference with governor greg abbott of texas. he is going to be doing a press conference. we understand that senator ted cruz will join him at the press conference. it will happen any minute now. we will bring it to you. in the meantime, we have grace johnson on the line. she is a senior at santa fe high school. and was in band class when the shooting happened. grace, i'm sorry for what you have gone through today. your experience is invaluable to us to understand. if you could set the scene for us this morning. i understand you are in band class already.
>> yes, ma'am. >> dana: walk us through your morning and what happened. >> i actually had gotten to school about five minutes before it happened, before the fire alarm went off. we were in band class, not really doing anything. and the fire alarm went off. and we have fire drills a lot. so we kind of took our time going outside. you know, a lot of our class made it out there before us. the end of us just got out the door when there is a hallway that is all glass that you can see outside and the windows just started shattering. you know, we could hear gunshots and everybody started running. half of us ran back inside. half of them who were too far to get back in in time ran to the gas station. >> dana: when you do your drills, what are you told to do?
obviously a fire drill is different from an active shooter drill. but you decided to run back inside? >> yes, ma'am. >> dana: i understand that you have a lot of friends obviously there at the school. what happened after you went back inside? how did you know that you were going to be safe? >> we have a cement room above our band hall. our band director is exmilitary -- there is a 200-pound steel door. he shut that. we were pretty confident we were going to be okay no matter what. >> dana: that is certainly a quick-thinking teacher, indeed. at what point -- let me ask you this. do you think you have any indication whether any of your friends have been injured? >> i have not gotten a list of name of who have been injured or who has been killed.
you know, a lot of kids don't have their phones or they got left at school. i know a lot of my friends are okay but there are still some of my friends who are unaccounted for. >> dana: any other thoughts that you have about -- this is not the first school shooting. unfortunately. there have been many. including just this year. we had the parkland shooting in florida. in that situation, the students had, not just the students said there was a problem with one particular student. this whole idea of if you see something, say something that had taken place. any indication that you have as to what might have happened before this? >> honestly, i'm not sure. you know, i agree if you are concerned about a student that you suspect could have issues like of course, tell somebody. but this student in particular was not one of those kids. he was very, very sweet.
i had classes with him. so it's honestly, it's really sad because you don't know why they do this. >> dana: grace, you sound like a very poised and mature young woman. i'm sorry for what you have gone through. i know you are a senior in high school. of course, i wish you the best of luck in anything that comes forward in your bright future. i appreciate you being here today. thank you. >> thank you. >> dana: trace, turn it over to you. >> you know, dana, your last question was spot on because we have learned in the wake of the parkland shooting that, in fact, nikolas cruz had 58 disciplinary actions against him in a five-year span. in fact, one of those should have brought him before a judge but because of a diversion program he never made it before a judge. that is exactly what the schools will be talking about. i want to bring in michael, the president of a company called ssi guardian that actually developed the first university accredited active shooter training program. michael, you know, you go on the website of santa fe high
school and they talk about the changes they made in the wake of the shooting at sandy hook and how they changed the entire protocol. they had two resource officers that were armed on classes. they went over the active shooting drills. how much of a factor do you think it played into what you are seeing happening today in santa fe? >> good afternoon, trace. thank you for having me. what they did having school resource officers there is a best practice. i would say that is a good step. if you are going through the proper evidence-based training, that, too would be a proper step. when it comes to the actual exercises, if they are planned, that is the right way to do it. what you want to be careful of is doing unannounced exercises. i don't know what policy was in place for the particular school but you don't want to do the things randomly. such as a fire drill. because i heard your last guest say sometimes you think it's a fire drill. you are walking out because you are not taking it serious because they are used to doing this on a regular basis.
>> is that the thing? this the third or fourth time where a fire alarm was used in a shooting situation. is it a case that you know the guys going in and we have seen many terrorists event around the world, they are trying to attract the students to go their way and the fire alarm might be one of those resources they use to get people to come in their direction? >> it is definitely a strategy. we saw a similar incident take place in parkland. the active shooter threat is constantly involved. in the path you didn't see so much of the fire alarm being used but in this event an parkland we see the fire alarm was utilized. i have heard and read conflicting reports that the attacker pulled the fire alarm. i read another report where the students pulled the fire alarm to help people evacuate. we don't know that for certain at this point. >> michael, this is your business. you do this all the time. you know the studies. you have done this again and
again. what in your estimation is the best defense for the high schools around the country? they talk about banning guns. we know in the near future that is not going to happen. what do the schools do? rand paul said we need to protect our schools every single day. what is the best defense the schools can have? >> look. there are existing best practices that schools can implement today. we don't have to try to reinvent and recreate things. but stick to security best practices that we know have been proven to keep schools safer. it all starts with evidence-based advanced training that trains you on preparation, mitigation and of course response. another best practice would be to have the right equipment in place. practicing the plan, practicing the training that you incurred. so there is a plethora of things that schools can do today. things that do not cost million or a billion dollars to implement. so it's important that there is a lot of ideas out there now. it's very important we stay
focused on the best practices, do what we can do today that we know that works and really make a difference. these events keep happening time and time again. but if we keep relying on the same failed strategies we can't expect a different result. >> something has to change. michael yorio the president of ssi guardian. good of you to join us. dana, he makes a great point. when you talk about changing the routine and the protocol we had a school shooting on wednesday. nobody was killed in that school shooting because the shooter was taken out quickly. but talk about the protocol of the school and this school was on it. they had barricaded themselves inside the classrooms using desks, using anything they could get in there there was no way anybody could get inside the classrooms near the area where the shooter was located. it's a very good point. >> dana: indeed. in fact, when grace johnson was saying that the teacher was reassuring them, they were surrounded by concrete. they were going to be safe. that was very important. trace, we are still waiting for the governor of texas.
greg abbott. he is coming from austin, texas, making his way to santa fe. he is en route and we'll have the press conference as soon as we can bring it to you. senator ted cruz will be joining him. in addition we know that president trump is meeting with the u.n. secretary-general. they are meeting at the white house. it was closed press but now open to the press and we will keep an eye on that. we will bring you any information we have. bring in congressman mccall of texas, chairman of the house homeland security committee. i believe the last time you and i spoke on this program was when there was the mail bombs placed all around austin and we talked about that. there is a lot that texas has gone through. all across the country, of course. but your district has been hit hard in the past year. >> i agree. the last time i was on your show we talked about the austin bombing and my hometown of austin. my district stretches to the
houston area. this is right outside houston. it seems like we have seen this play out too many times in the schools across the nation. there are very soft targets if you will. we need to target this so we don't see it happen so frequently. >> dana: how did you learn the news today? >> we were voting on the farm bill on the house floor. i was notified by my committee team there had been a shooting in texas. active shooter playing out in my home state. it seems like we are getting the news way too often. the interesting thing is this week i introduced a school security bill to help harden our schools from these type of attacks to get homeland security funds out to active shooter training programs. also to help harden the targets. maybe the use of k9s.
i think this is something you have to see congress take a little more action and responsibility on. >> dana: do you feel the pressure from your constituents and do other members of congress you work with feel like people -- they don't want to turn on their tv and see this ever. the parkland shooting was just three months ago. we talked about the other mass shootings we know about this past year. not even a year ago. the las vegas shooting, southerland springs, texas. in particular of schools and you talk about the legislation you just introduced would it be with any specific requirement? or would you allow the school districts to decide what works best for them? >> i think it's always important to let the local school districts decide what is best for them. education is a local concern. this just enables and authorizes the department of homeland security to assist schools and provide a grant funding program for them if they choose to do so to provide this active shooter
training program. also, you know, in this case, once again, not unlike the boston bombing in austin we are looking at the pipe bomb and the pressure cooking bombs. these are illegal. there is no question about that. we can talk about gun control debate. these are illegal devices. you know, firearms are not allowed in a certain perimeter of the schools by law as well. but this is a grant program to help them harden again what i think to be one of the softer targets we have with our children right in the crossfire. >> dana: it was just this week that one of your colleagues from illinois congressman kinzinger in his district there was an attempted school shooting but the armed services officer there at the time was able to prevent a mass shooting from happening there. that obviously can't happen everywhere but do you think there is more of an acceptance or at least an understanding that if we do want to help protect the schools there is no magic what happened that can be waved and that people
accepting perhaps, having these targets hardened is part of the deal going forward? >> it has to be. i used to prosecute firearm cases as a federal prosecutor. many of these cases are stolen firearms. the terrorists have ak-47s that are illegal on the black market. i think what we need to do is look at hardening the targets, the soft targets with the school resource officers. you know the parkland case, we also -- i'm the biggest fan of law enforcement. we had a law enforcement breakdown where the f.b.i. was notified, the sheriff's office was notified. then you had the school resource deputy sheriffs sitting outside the school as the carnage was going on inside. that is completely unacceptable. i want to give my condolences to the families in my home state of texas who have gone through yet another tragedy here of nine students being killed and one teacher. there is really nothing worse
in my opinion than to witness something like this. >> dana: the absolute tragedy of it, the shock of it. we had a young woman named grace johnson who is a senior at the school. she was in band class on the other side of the school. she said her teacher was able to help them and make them feel safe until they were able to get reconnected with the parents. i also want to ask you, sir, about prevention. as you were talking about in parkland, at least in that case in the investigation we found out that people had seen something and said something about the shooter. and nothing was done to take his weapons away or to keep the weapons away from him. and this idea of a gun violence restraining order. that would be something where based on either a family or a coworker, they go to the police, law enforcement and say this person, we are worried about that person. there would be a gun restraining order on that person at that point. is that something that you would support?
>> well, i think it's something that we are looking into. again, i think you have to deal with the mental health issue as well. i think currently if you are mentally -- adjudicated mentally ill you can't purchase firearm. we need to create solutions that do not infringe on the second amendment but a way to stop if we see a person like this in advance, ways to stop them. as i said, it's illegal to enter a campus with a firearm itself already. so, hardening again of the soft targets is really one of the best ways to go here. >> dana: congressman, i'm co-anchoring this hour with trace gallagher who is in california. i believe he has a question for you as well. trace? >> thank you. >> thank you, dana. i want to piggyback on dana's question. we talk about the investigation in the wake of the parkland shooting and the "orlando sun sentinel" did
oweman's work saying that -- yeoman's work saying that nikolas cruz had 58 issues against him. but because it is difficult to kick kids out of school a lot of the kids can repeat offend and there is no consequences. do you find some of that is happening in your district in texas? if so, what is the mitigation for that type of stuff? >> well, you know, i have five children. they are all teenagers now. they are in high schools. two in college now. you know, that is something that, you know, anytime i think -- some of this responsibility is not all on the federal government. i think the schools and the superintendents and the teachers when they see problem children like this, they have an obligation to take it seriously and report it. every high school has a local law enforcement component to it that i think need to be alerted to potentially problem
children at the high schools. i think that is a real responsibility to be placed on the schools themselves to make sure that you are protecting the other students in the classrooms if they see something like that, to say something to law enforcement. >> you know, congressman, we cannot emphasize enough how much our hearts and our prayers go out to the people in santa fe in harris county. i don't think people around the country realize when they talk about the students shot today and injured today, they don't realize that the devastating times that these people have gone through. hurricane harvey came through houston last summer, late, in the fall. they had 55 inches of rain in santa fe. they had school was shut for the first week. they had a lot of kids that lost their homes. this has been a very difficult 12 months for the people who live down in that area. people don't realize that. >> and thank you for saying that. i was on the ground, you know, right after when harvey hit and saw the carnage and the
destruction. i also saw some heroes out there saving 20,000 lives. i think this part of the country has been through a lot. then to have a school shooting, you know, on top of it is the last thing we need back home. i really appreciate your sentiment. we also in the state of texas appreciate the eyes of the nation, all the sympathy and the condolences and the thoughts and prayers as i have heard and gotten calls around the country saying that to us. that really means a lot to us being in texas. >> dana, going back to you now, i want to make a final point. we were down there covering harvey and the people in harris county, we saw people come from all over the state. they talk about oh, the political differences around the country and we are close to a civil war. man, people came from all over the state and from different states down there to help their fellow texans in a time of need and nobody asked what your political affiliation was. they just gave up weeks of
their time to go and help. i'm sure if they could help people in the shooting in santa fe, they would do that as well. >> dana: no doubt. it's called "the great state of texas" for good reason. they have wonderful people there. i want to ask about your experience on the homeland security committee and as a federal prosecutor. one of the things that we know is that people who maybe have a mental illness or maybe they are feeling lonely and they go online. and they are searching for a way to belong or a way to make a difference or at least to get a name for themselves. over and over again, we see the possibility that the shooters have sort of emulated the columbine shooters. that is my home state. control -- columbine is in colorado. they are reporting that the attacker was armed with an ar-15 style rifle, pistol, a
shotgun and pipe bombs. officers inside encountered a bloody mess in the school. evidently this guy threw pipe bombs all in there. we don't know if all of them went off. this report from kprc houston also says he had walked in with a trench coat and duffel bag and pulled out of a shotgun and started shooting and someone pulled the fire alarm. i wonder what you thought about that in terms of the online recruitment that seems to come up over and over again. >> it's disturbing. i dealt with this a lot, dana, in the sort of isis/al-qaeda recruitment training online and radicalization online. they prey on victims and those cases in the muslim community. now we have an individual who is not. he obviously has had health issues here. we also know that he had been looking at some websites that were neo nazi websites, which disturbs me greatly. and the copycat cases.
i can't emphasize that enough. for a disturbed teenager to be looking at this and thinkk how can i become person that can get a lot of attention and copy what they are seeing happening now in texas. that disturbs me a lot. that is why we are probably seeing this more as we have more disturbed teenagers growing up that are trying to find a sense of belonging, a sense of place in the world. unfortunately they are prey to the websites that lead them down the wrong path. where it's radical islamic terror or white supremacist terror. they are both terrorism. >> dana: and the legislative fix is hard to nail down. congressman mccaul, thank you for being with us today. >> thank you, dana. >> dana, i want to update you. congressman, thank you as well. fantastic information. our hearts go out to the people in your district. i wanted to update the officer we talked about, the school resource officer. there are two on campus.
both of them are armed and one as we have been reporting all morning long, one of them was injured. we believe critically injured. the gunshot went through his arm and his chest. he is a school resource officer in his 50s. he is a retired houston police detective with many, many years of experience. he retired in december of 2016 to join the ranks of the santa fe independent school district. and during his years with the houston police department he apparently worked in accident division, burglary, theft and then he retired from that. the doctors on scene say that he suffered an extraordinary amount of blood loss. a lot of blood was lost. they have stabilize him. as we have said many times during the school shootings he was brought to a level one trauma center. when you get to a level one trauma center, if you are still live the odds of you remaining alive are very, very good. that is important. we just had a couple of days ago the shooting in dixon,
illinois. the hometown of ronald reagan. that resource officer on scene there was lauded. i mean he was given kudos because he went after the shooter and he is the one who stopped what could have been what we are seeing now in santa fe, texas. it's kind of the counter to what happened in parkland, florida, right? you had the school shooter, the deputy down there who didn't act as a lot of people thought he should have. and he has since retired. i want to bring in ivory hecker from kriv, the fox affiliate in houston who is live on scene in santa fe. ivory? >> that is right. as you were talking about the officer, hospital officials tell us he is one of 13 so far. at least 13 who were taken to the hospital with gunshot injuries. we are told that he is one of two who are in critical condition. at least two. we are told he was shot in the
arm and received a serious loss of blood. was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition. we are told majority of the people injured in the shooting were students. trace? >> what are we learning, ivory, about the shooter so far? we haven't named him. there are names out there but we are not going to say it because we have not got it from the police. we would rather be accurate than first. what are you learning about the shooter so far? >> well, we had just been told the shooter's name if it's okay to say it. law enforcement told us his name is dimitri. he is 17 years old. student at santa fe high school. we are told his home has been search and they have found bomb making materials in his home. bombs were found, explosives
found inside the santa fe high school and areas around the high school. they have searched pagourt.is home and the two homes he was likely to hang out and they are looking for the bomb-making materials is what we are told. look at this suspected shooter 's facebook page shows he calls himself a kamikaze pilot. he posted a photo of a t-shirt that says, "born to kill." he posted photos of a long military type jacket. we talk to students at the high school that the shooter, when they saw him come in with the gun in hand he was wearing a long trench coat is what the students describe that may be the military jacket on the facebook page. students say he would wear the jacket and boalts every day to school. trace?
>> a i know you have been talking to the students. are they giving you a description of what happened after the fire alarm was pulled? a >> one student told us when the gunman walked in he had a sawed off shotgun and a pistol in hand wearing the jackets before opening fire. a student said they were in a classroom when the gunman burst in the room, yelled "surprise" smiledded and opened fire shooting three students in the classroom. another student in a room next door who heard shots. a swat team excourted her and other students out. some students are saying he was on the football team. we are not sure if it was true. but they say he wore the militarism coat uniform every day to school.
thigh didn't think much. >> thank you. we are going to hold off on the name of the shooter. the name is out there but we have not gotten it confirmed by the police so we will hold off. but i can tell you without releasing names there are crews, the police investigators at three different scenes and we believe they are one, the alleged shooter's home. two, areas where he hung out, because they are figuring motive now. three, apparently the person of interest's home as well. so they have confirmed they do have a name and they are trying to work out scrub or scour his social media to figure out if there is a pattern, if he was in contact with anybody or what type of websites or what information he was trying to convey in the hours and the days leading up to the shooting. >> dana: all right, trace. i want to take a minute here because we have some sound from students who were there and experienced this horror. we will play it for you now.
>> i heard my friend got shot in the art hole. as soon as the alarms went off, everybody started running outside. the next thing you know, everybody looks and you heard boom, boom, boom! i just ran as fast as i could to the nearest forest to hide and i called my mom. i was scared. i didn't know what to think. i shouldn't be going through this at my school. this is my daily life. i shouldn't have to feel like that. >> i believe he knew what he was doing when he came into it. i don't see -- that is all i really knew him of. i know he played football for the high school for a little bit. i don't know how long he played. but that's all i really know him with. >> dana: those are a couple of students that were there and experienced that this morning. many unfortunately were also injured. laura ingle has joined us and has an update on the condition. >> as we are waiting to find out the identities of those who lost their lives and we do
not have those yet. we still don't know the identities of those injured either. but we have updates on the condition for you. as we have been reporting all morning long, unfortunately at least eight were killed this morning as the law enforcement worked to inform some of the parents that the children will not be coming home today. we are working to learn more about those who were shot and survived and are being treated at two area hospitals. we have been checking in with them. santa fe high school located in galveston county. commissioner identified one of the injured as a school resource officers. according to doctors he was shot in arm and has been in surgery. he lost a lot of blood and he remains in cit can condition. he -- critical condition. he is one of three people treated at the university of texas medical branch in galveston. another is adult female with gunshot wound to the leg. the other patient is 16-year-old male also with a gunshot wound to the leg. the second hospital clear lake regional medical center treated eight patients from the high school. all eight were students with
gunshot wound. six have been discharged. two are still there. one of the two is still in critical condition. clear lake regional rep in the recent news conference added they have been recently been training for the type of mass casualty incident and recently had done that. >> dana: i wanted to ask you about that. a lot of hospitals across the country are doing that. in the las vegas shooting the hospital there had recently done a drill. but the doctors and surgeons say they feel overwhelmed when it comes in. but they are able to save more lives now, modern medicine has improved and they are able to save lives. >> we went to new york and did an active shooter training and we followed along with the law enforcement and the e.m.t.s to see how they work together to help save lives. all the folks are doing the repeated drills, stepping them up, changing the way they do the drills so they can be prepared for something like this. it's just awful. >> dana: when do we expect
to have more information about how many people were actually shot? >> i believe we are getting another update at 3:00. we should have something in the next hour. >> dana: we are waiting for governor greg abbott making his way from austin, texas, to santa fe. he is briefed to give an update for us on the situation here. we know the president will be meeting meeting meeting with the u.n. secretary general. i mentioned it was going to be opened press but i think it will be unlikely. i didn't want to leave you with the impression that was going to happen. trace, are you with us here? >> i am, dana. i want to set the table if i can to update people. you see things in the lower half of the screen. there are reports that come in. we want to go with what we have confirmed. the sheriff came out and gave a news conference a short time ago. we are going to go with the sheriff and what he says. he says the death toll is under ten. for now you have heard eight, nine, ten. the sheriff said under ten. for now that seems to be the number that we will go with at this point in time. we talk about the fact they are still on the campus
because that is the primary crime scene here. there were explosives inside and outside the campus. the goal now for investigators is to try and find out how long this has been underway. what has the process been? did he have help? if you have bombs inside the campus -- remember, this happened at 7:45 this morning. it's not like they leave the school gates open all day, right? or in the morning. he only had maybe 15 or 20 minutes prior to the shooting starting when the kids all entered the classroom. so you figure when were these explosives planted? was it done in the days leading up to this? was this extravagant plan? were the explosives in his car like in columbine several years ago? that is the question the investigators are trying to find. we saw earlier and you see pictures on the screen now. this is the old protocol where the kids come out with the hands up, drop their backpacks. that has been standard operating procedure because nobody knows who has explosives. they don't know the good guys
from the bad guys. at the time of the shooting, police simply do not know who they are dealing with so everybody at that point in time becomes a suspect. that is why we see these scenes that you are seeing on the screen now time and time again in the wake of the school shootings. that is why it takes so long to get accurate information out to the public. you sometimes think why are police not giving us the information? well, sometimes they quite frankly don't know. you don't know when you have to get all the hospital information, you have to talk to the investigators inside. you have s.w.a.t. teams. you have different agencies. you have to coordinate all of that information and try to get cohesive message to the public. that is kind of what is going on right now. continuing coverage of the breaking news, the shooting in santa fe, texas, about 35 miles outside of houston, texas. the same area hit very hard by hurricane harvey back in the late summer. we will continue our coverage next.
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>> dana: all right, breaking news. we have more information, trace, and the viewers watching us today. there was the shooting in santa fe, texas, of a high school, at a high school there. nine people killed. students killed. one teacher. the "associated press" is now reporting that the shooting suspect is dimitrios pagourtzis. dimitrios pagourtzis. this is coming from the "associated press." the "houston chronicle" writing that pagourtzis is a
junior, he shared photographs on a now defunked facebook page with him in a t-shirt that said, "born to kill." according to "the chronicle" we had heard he played football. one of the students said. apparently that is the case. maybe only one year. the "chronicle" said the a.p. called to speak to somebody at the home of pagourtzis and the person said, "give us our time right now. thank you." that was the end of the phone call. trace, turn it over to you. >> trace: it goes on because on the website they say he was praised, dimitrios pagourtzis was praised for his role of stopping the running of other teams when he played football for the school. he was a member of the dance club of his local greek orthodox church. that is the "associated press" reporting that and "houston
chronicle" picked that up and ran it. they are focused on his social media footprint. that is the ston dard operating procedure -- standard operating procedure of the day. when this happens you focus on the social media footprint because it's so accessible and so telling. in this case, what is telling in the early hours we had this name a few hours ago and we started to scour like detectives would do his social media page. it's unusual that the facebook page was taken down. it was taken down 25 or 30 minutes after the shooting. the facebook page was gone. his instagram page, you find he was following gun groups and he wasn't a prolific poster on social media but he haddictures of weapons on the instagram page. it was filled with other people's comments so he wasn't posting a lot of stuff but we
don't know what was on the facebook page. it was taken down by the time. we should also note there was a note on his facebook page that cites a connection with the united states marine corps. they -- the "associated press" contacted the marine corps and spokesperson said he is in no way affiliated with the marines at all. we are talking about 17-year-old dimitrios pagourtzis. he is a junior at santa fe. he was arrested. he was not shot. he was taken into custody. they are questioning him. as we said earlier this prompted investigators to fan out. they are now at the three separate scenes. pagourtzis' home, his house where he hung out frequently we are told and then the home of a person of interest who has also been taken to custody. we don't want to jump the gun and say this person of interest is involved in this. we don't know that now. what we know is somebody else
was taken into custody as a possible person of interest. the police are calling him. could have been a witness. i could change. we don't know. we don't know if the person was part of it. but you look at the pattern here with the explosives, dana, and you look at all the other things. it really is kind of an amazing, amazing symmetry of something happened in columbine some 19 years ago. i want to bring in leila james, sophomore at santa fe high school. i want to know, you were in chemistry class when the whole thing started. apparently one of your favorite substitute teachers was shot in the leg. can you tell us what happened in your words? >> so like you said, i was sitting in chemistry just watching a movie because it was a movie day today. we all heard the fire alarm go off so we all got up and exited the building just like we normally would. we all thought it was a fire drill like normal. we got outside and immediately saw administrative personnel
like the principal, the vice principals telling us to quickly run away from the school and get away as far as possible. so from that point we were running across highway 6, getting into the ditches across the street. we stood there and immediately i knew that this wasn't just a fire drill. then i saw police cars, sheriffs, all of that coming through. i was thinking maybe it's just a fire. and this is just an overwhelming amount of police presence coming. i started talking to my friends. they had all been hearing from other people and then themselves that there had been gunshots. soon after that, teachers and police officer personnel started escorting us to the back side of mechanics shop that faces the high school. so we could all get away from the high school and just be where we could be together and safe. >> trace: leila, i know this has to be awfully traumatic for you. i want to read you something. you may know this person but i won't say her name. it's a 17-year-old.
she says, this is her quote which really is, it's very striking. she said when the shooting happened she wasn't surprised, she was just scared. she says, "no, there was no real surprise. it has been happening everywhere. i was always like it was going to eventually happen and it happened here. no, i wasn't surprised. i was just scared." is that kind of how you felt when this whole thing was going down, leila? >> i mean, we are all aware of how much this happens throughout the united states. but just living in such a small, loving community, i really didn't expect it to happen. santa fe, we are such a tight-knit loving community. this isn't something that you would expect. >> trace: yeah, it's amazing. dana, i know you have questions as well. >> dana: leila, thank you for providing us your eyewitness account. i'm sure you had to go through this. i wonder if you had insight whether you think the fire drills or the active shooter drills that had taken place at
your school were effective. >> personally, i think yes. we have had so many fire drills prior to this event. because of that we were able to evacuate the school so quickly. and it just amazes me how fast we were able to get out. prior to this we have also had a lockdown situation. that was different than this. i don't know. i wasn't expecting this to happen today. >> dana: i'm curious because certainly this could be instructive for other school districts across the country if they are thinking how to make sure that more opportunities are protected and teachers are protected that the drills really are effective. also, the school year is coming to a close. is it possible you think you might not go back to school this year? >> i'm really not sure. at the beginning of this year we were rocked by hurricane harvey and now we are experiencing such another traumatic experience. i just don't know what else is going to happen. this school year has just been
so insane with what has been happening. i'm just hoping that if we do come back to school we can all come back feeling together and safe, just making sure we feel like a family again. >> dana: it certainly sounds like you live in a wonderful community. you are so poised and mature. and it really is amazing to me for somebody who has gone through what you did this morning to be able to provide us this update like you are. you are very impressive young woman. >> thank you. >> dana: trace, do you have another question? >> trace: you listen to the kids -- no, i'm just heartbroken. you listen to the kids and you read the comments and you think oh, i have a 17-year-old daughter as well. you think wow! it's just amazing to see the poise that the kids show in the wake of all of this. i mean to say well, no, i'm not surprised, we were scared. but i'm ready. this goes to the 1950s where people had to jump under the desk because of the nuclear
fallout drills. it was mandatory. now you have active shooter drills in schools across america. we were shown a couple days ago in dixon, illinois, again the home of ronald reagan, the kids reacted and they were textbook perfect. they did exactly what they were told to do. it turned out brilliantly for them. you look at the bottom of the screen. we are showing you the map of santa fe. you can see the milling around of the school there. there is a fourth box we are not showing you. there is a news conference set to begin at any moment now. we don't know. any moment in these situations could be a minute from now or ten or 15 minutes from now. when it starts we will take you there. texas governor greg abbott will lead the news conference. i'm sure the sheriff will be there and by now the f.b.i. is also on scene in santa fe, texas. you talk about the poise of the kids and how they go through this. we saw how articulate the parkland kids were in the wake of that shooting. these kids are no less articulate. they have gone through a great
ordeal at the beginning of the year with harvey and now at the end of the year, the graduation was supposed to be this weekend. we have heard no notification it has been canceled but it's highly unlikely that will happen. so you wonder, the kids getting ready to graduate. this is friday. this is the biggest day of their life for the seniors. and now they have this to deal with and it changes the whole dynamic. >> -- amazing. >> dana: we had congressman mccull on earlier and that is his district, stretching from austin almost to houston. the pressure on legislators, both in the state legislatures and in congress, is ratcheting up. people want to do something. the question being what will that something be? the mental health aspect of this is always at the root cause. it's very difficult to get a handle on that. though, the administration and congress have just passed and
signed legislation that would hopefully get more funding in to the stream in order to help prevent things like this. but in addition to that, you have calls for hardening the soft targets. the schools. no doubt, governor greg anti, anti, -- governor greg abbott when he comes to the podium to update us, if he is able to take questions today and the coming days i'm sure these are the same questions that will be asked of him. >> trace: you know, they start off at the top here because every time these things happen there is this call for okay, let's arm all the teachers, let's arm the schools and make sure they are fortresses. then a couple of days later when the cameras go home they start to back off the claims saying well, okay, maybe if you don't want to arm all the teachers maybe we put a couple of guns. it went all the way down at some point in time where some schools in arkansas said okay, we will put rocks in every class. we will give you a jar of rocks and put them in every class and at least kids will have something to protect themselves. then you have the groups coming out saying what if we had guns with pepper spray in
them? pepper things where as soon as it hit you it would kind of get you out of the game and that is where is the gamut runs. there has to be some compromise in there to settle on. that seems to be the debate right now. >> dana: we started the hour with a call from casey stegall, our reporter that has been on the move. he has finally arrived in santa fe. casey, do we have up and ready to go? there you are. what is your update? >> we are positioned outside the agriculture center here at the independent school district where we are. we understand just moments away from that press conference that is scheduled to begin that will be featuring governor greg abbott. the governor of texas and republican senator ted cruz. we saw them arrive not long ago. we are only a couple of miles or so from the high school, itself, where this shooting happened this morning just before 8:00 local time.
the students had just started first period when reports from some of those students that a kid walked in, also a student at that school, who remains unidentified right now. and he had a sawed-off shotgun according to eyewitnesses and he began opening fire. as we know, dana, this is fluid. a lot of unanswered questions at this point. so it is a very active investigation. we hope to learn a little bit more in terms of what response is and what the latest with the investigation is coming up any minute now at the press conference scheduled to begin at the santa fe independent school district ag center behind me. >> dana: what do you expect we'll learn from governor's press conference? he had to get from austin to santa fe. he was on the ground for a while getting information. what do you think we will get from him?
>> you know, it's interesting. we see this governor being very hands on. and very active. hurricane harvey immediately comes to mind because this just also happens to be one of the hardest hit areas of this part of texas. we are not far from dickenson where a number of rescues were carried out and communities were under water. we saw at that time governor abbott out there on the front lines talking to first responders, talking to sheriffs, talking to local police chiefs. and so, we expect that he has had an opportunity to be briefed by law enforcement officials on the ground here. as we have seen him in previous instances. so he might have some information that he is able to release that is new that has come directly from police. but again, dana, as you know, in these type of situations and the very early going, you know, there are more questions than answers.
they certainly don't want to release any information that could jeopardize this investigation. remember, as you all have been reporting, there is a second person of interest in custody. police have characterized two people in custody. one being the suspect himself. and another being a person of interest. so the question is whether more than one individual involved here. it seems like there was some elaborate planning and setup that went into it. when we talk about explosive devices being located inside the high school. and even potentially in the neighboring perimeter of the community, surrounding the high school. that is one of the reasons we are so far back because they are making sweeps of that area to make sure that there it is safe. so, we don't want to compromise anything when we release information with an investigation like this. we know that people certainly want answers. most of america asking answers
at this hour. how on earth we could be here again and be dealing with another school shooting making national headlines? so, this is something that people are in shock about. and you are feeling that already in this community from hearing the people that were here. students. and also their parents. right now it's just a real sense of uneasiness as you can imagine in this tight-knit community southeast of houston. dana? >> dana: we know that you high-tailed it over there to santa fe, texas, in order to be able to provide us this report. we will have much more in the coming hour. the press conference with governor abbott is expected. we also expect that we might be able to learn a little bit more, possibly, about the shooter identified by the "associated press" as dimitri pagourtzis. we also will have updates on the injured and whether or not they will be able to discharge more students. six already have been
discharged. so their injuries have been treated and they are going to be fine. we will be back in a moment with more. >> breaking news now, a gunman opened fire in a texas high school killing eight. police say they have possible possible explosive devices around the campus and in the surrounding area. the sheriff says potentially inside the school as well. it happened this morning at santa fe high school about 30 miles southeast of houston. the associated press reporting the suspect is 17-year-old dimitrois pagourtzis. investigators say they're interviewing a second person of interest. that person is in custody. we're learning more from witnesses about what happened inside the school. a student says at first he thought somebody hit a trash can