SANTA FE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a high school shooting in Texas (all times local):
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has convened the first of three roundtable meetings to address school violence and safety.
In so doing, he pledged to seek ways to prevent more school shootings like the one Friday at a high school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.
Tuesday’s meeting is with school administrators, law enforcement and officials with programs that arm Texas teachers. Abbott said he’ll meet Wednesday with gun rights and gun control advocacy groups and Thursday with victims of the attack at Santa Fe High School and the November attack on a church in Sutherland Springs.
Abbott says everyone shares a “common goal — to protect innocent lives.”
He has been a staunch supporter of gun rights, and few expect the meetings to result in recommendations for significant gun restrictions in Texas. Several top Republicans have called for the state to “harden” school campuses against future attacks and arm more teachers.
Students have been allowed to enter Santa Fe High School and retrieve backpacks and other items that were left behind as they fled Friday’s shooting that killed 10 people.
Seventeen-year-old junior Shelby Aguilera said walking the empty halls Tuesday was “eerie,” adding, “I didn’t want to be there and I got sick to my stomach.”
She says her classroom was just as she left it Friday when Aguilera, on crutches from an earlier injury, was helped from the room by a friend and a teacher.
Aguilera says she’s ready for classes to resume next week so that she can join with friends again “to show how strong we are.”
A 17-year-old student accused of carrying out the attack is being held on capital murder charges.
The father of a 17-year-old student accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Houston-area high school says the teenager doesn’t own any guns and that perhaps his son was being bullied.
In a phone interview over the weekend with Greece’s Antenna TV, Antonios Pagourtzis (puh-GOR’-cheez) said he wished he could have stopped the killing Friday at Santa Fe High School. His voice cracks as he describes how he told police to let him inside the school so his son could kill him instead.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis is being held on capital murder charges.
His father says he owns guns but that the boy doesn’t. He says he thinks someone might have hurt his son and that this could have prompted the attack. He says his son didn’t drink and never got into fights.
The latest school shooting is unlikely to lead to significant new gun restrictions in Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott begins hosting school-safety roundtable discussions Tuesday. There have been new calls to arm teachers and “harden” campuses against attacks in the wake of last week’s shooting at Santa Fe High School that left eight students and two teachers dead.
But few expect the meetings to result in a major push for gun restrictions in a state that has more than 1.2 million licensed handgun owners who can openly carry their weapons in public.
The discussions will start in Austin, and Abbott says they will include lawmakers, educators, students, parents, gun-rights advocates and shooting survivors. The first one features officials from districts that arm some teachers or contract with local police for security.