One of the 10 victims of the Santa Fe shooting outside Galveston, Texas, on Friday was also a former junior varsity football teammate of the suspected shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman.
According to American-Statesman reporter Ryan Autullo, Chris Stone was the team’s center. Another teammate of Pagourtzis and Stone, Tyler Ray, said that the two often lined up against each other during team practices.
The New York Times also reported that Stone was a member of the Santa Fe football team.
Despite their in-practice competition, Ray told the newspaper that there was nothing to indicate the interaction might have led to the widespread violence that unfolded at Santa Fe High. As of Saturday, officials said that the in-school shooting had killed 10 and injured another 13.
Aside from the occassional (sic) practice field skirmish, there was no obvious friction between Pagourtzis and Stone, who were both nearing the end of their junior years at the school of less than 1,500 students.
Pagourtzis was quiet and non-confrontational, Ray said. He brought a positive attitude into the Indians’ lockerroom and was a regular at optional summer workouts. An excellent student, too, Ray said.
“Wasn’t the type of person to start something,” Ray said.
Just how out of character was Pagourtzis’ alleged deadly attack? Ray said that he and Pagourtzis had been at the popular Texas waterpark Schlitterbahn together Thursday, where they had lunch. Ray apparently got no sense that Pagourtzis was on the verge of a deadly rampage.
“He was fine,” Ray told the American-Statesman. “He seemed happy. It was all good. I wished he had reached out to someone.”
Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer, but will be spared the death penalty due to a Texas law that bans capital punishment for those under the age of 18. In addition to Stone, Pagourtzis also allegedly injured fellow football teammate Clay Horn, who is one of the 13 who were injured and hospitalized after the shooting.
Pagourtzis has confessed to the crime and allegedly told authorities that he targeted students he did not like. At least one other victim who survived the attack was an athlete at the school: baseball player Rome Shubert posted on Twitter that he had been shot in the back of the head. Shubert was listed in stable condition Friday evening.