Hours after a massacre in Texas left 10 people dead and 13 injured when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe high school, stories of heroes began to emerge. School police officer John Barnes entered the art complex and was the first one to confront the shooter. Elsewhere in the complex another teacher ran out and pulled the fire alarm to let others know something was wrong.
Here are some stories of bravery in the face of tragedy:
School resource officers
Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Friday that two “brave officers” from the school district “stepped up to the plate” and engaged the shooter.
One of the officers, identified as John Barnes, was the first person to engage 17-year-old suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis. Barnes was shot in the process and is in critical condition. Another officer, the district chief, got Barnes to safety, according to McCraw. McCraw said a state trooper also engaged the shooter.
“Once again we want to thank the heroes of law enforcement who stepped forward to respond to and confront the shooter. Their action probably ensured that more lives were not lost,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said.
Barnes spent more than 20 years as an officer with the Houston Police Department before retiring in January. Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo tweeted that Barnes was known for “for his tireless work in Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.”
Zach Lawford, a student who was in a classroom a few doors down from the shooting, told KHOU that his teacher ran out of the classroom and “pulled the fire alarm while we were barricading the door.”
“To get everyone out of the school obviously, to get the rest of the school out,” Lawford said.
Steve Rose, a teacher at Santa Fe high school, ordered all the students to hide under their desks and crouched next to the door, waiting to jump on the shooter if he came in, student Kaylee Haaga said. Haaga said Rose told the students: “It’s my life before y’alls."
Other teachers also helped get students out of the building as bullets rained through the halls, authorities said. Two teachers, Ann Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale, died in the shooting.
GOP Sen Ted Cruz lauded the courage under fire.
“We thank the incredible heroes that we saw today, those of law enforcement that rushed into harm’s way. Teachers, students … we know that we are going to hear the bravery that manifested in the face of evil. Bravery that we know was done at least in some instances at great cost and great sacrifice,” Cruz said during a press conference Friday.
Student Chris Stone, was one of the 10 people killed in Friday’s massacre, according to the Associated Press. Stone's classmate Abel San Miguel told the AP that Stone was one of multiple students trying to block a classroom door, but that the gunman fired through the door and hit Stone in the chest.
Contributing: Rick Jervis in Santa Fe