Texas school shooting: Victims named as investigators work to identify motive

Police claim the suspected shooter spared his friends so they could tell his story

Texas school shooting: Victims named as investigators work to identify motive

Picture by: Stuart Villanueva/AP/Press Association Images

A town in Texas is grieving for the 10 people killed in a school shooting, as investigators try to identify a motive for the attack.

The victims of the attack - eight students aged between 15 and 17 and two teachers - include Sabika Sheikh, an exchange student from Pakistan, who had planned to return home during next month's Eid celebration to visit her family.

Speaking to journalists from Karachi, her father described the tragedy as a "nightmare" and said he had kept trying to call and WhatsApp Sabika.

"Never before had my daughter failed to reply," he said.

A crowdfunder for the family of 15-year-old Angelique Ramirez, who was described as "a kind, compassionate and caring individual," raised more than $13,000 in less than a day.

Many of those killed, including Aaron Kyle Mcleod and Jared Black, were in their favourite class, art, when the gunman opened fire on them.

The other students killed were Christian Garcia (15), Shana Fisher (16), Christopher Stone (17) and Kim Vaughan.

Teachers Glenda Ann Perkins (64) and Cynthia Tisdale (63) were also killed.

Suspect

Officers say 17-year-old Dmitrious Pagourtzis, who has been charged with capital murder, has admitted storming an art classroom and killing 10 people.

Charging documents released by police in Santa Fe, Texas, say he avoided students he liked in the rampage, so they would communicate his story afterwards.

Student activists, many of whom mobilised after a mass shooting at Parkland school in Florida earlier in the year, responded to the latest attack by calling for further scrutiny on gun laws in the US.

Survivors of the shooting have revealed horrifying accounts of hiding with the bodies of their deceased classmates as the gunman went into four classrooms

Freshman Abel San Miguel said he watched his friend Chris Stone get killed by a gunshot, and said he survived by playing dead after being grazed across the shoulder by a bullet.

"We were on the ground, all piled up in random positions," he said.

Another student, Breanna Quintanilla, said the suspect had walked into the classroom and pointed his gun at one student, saying "I'm going to kill you" before shooting them.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the suspect had explosive devices as well as firearms that he obtained from his parents, and had posted photographs wearing a T-shirt that said "born to kill" on Facebook.

Pagourtzis' family said on Saturday that although they were "in the dark" about the attack, they felt media reports on the massacre were "incompatible with the boy we love".