Greg Abbott today convened the first of three roundtable discussions on "school and community safety" in response to Friday's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. There were also local law enforcement and school officials, including the district attorney who will lead the prosecution against 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the accused shooter in Friday's killings.
"You could feel a unification of voices around the issues he discussed from various school districts and law enforcement", he told The Texas Tribune. Eight students and two teachers were killed and more than a dozen wounded.
Ditto the five states that now have laws prohibiting bump stocks, the attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to work like machine guns, like the one used by Stephen Paddock to kill 58 people and wound hundreds more in Las Vegas. I've always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too, so-I don't know. He has not entered a plea to the charges of capital murder of multiple people and aggravated assault on a public servant. He says his son didn't drink and never got into fights.
"I saw the child".
He said his son told him he had acted on his own and had spared "the kids who were the good kids so they can tell his story". The suspect and officers did not exchange gunfire during the negotiation, the sheriff said.
"I can't believe it could have been any of us at the school, we need to make [a] change now", he added.
The cause of death for each victim was gunshot wounds, according to John Florence, chief investigator for the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office.
Santa Fe High School had an active-shooter plan and two armed security guards on campus. The Wednesday discussion, for example, will include legislative leaders and the lieutenant governor, judges, the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, mental health experts, the director of the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University and members of groups advocating for and against increased gun regulation. Under Texas law, offenders younger than 18 who are charged with a capital offense face a maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
Among the measures coming out of the meeting that Abbott said he would like to see implemented quickly were expanding school safety training programs, bolstering threat assessment systems and expanding a pilot program created to screen for students who might be a threat to themselves or others.
Reporters were then ushered out of the room, as Abbott's office announced they would be prior to the meeting.
Leigh Wall, the superintendent of the district about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston, said in a letter to parents Tuesday that teachers and support staff will be working to prepare for the return of students next Tuesday. And, as Hodges said, the level of inaction after that shooting in particular spoke volumes about who and what American adults are willing to sacrifice for their guns. Authorities said the Santa Fe High student opened fire with his father's shotgun and.38-caliber handgun.