After seven school shootings in the United States in less than a month, seven young victims of the 20-year-old man who opened fire on students and staff at his former school in Michigan have been identified by their families and lost. The names of those shot and killed have been released on Sunday: Noelle Velazquez, 14; Zane Holtermann, 13; Gage Sparks, 13; Elijah Hall, 10; Andrew Podolec, 14; Anthony Gonzalez, 14; and Mark Miranda, 14.
Earlier Sunday, a police officer wounded in the attack was released from the hospital and was back home with his family, Attorney General Bill Schuette said Sunday night.
Lawmakers in the Senate Intelligence Committee are already making plans to convene to take up measures to address gun violence following the shooting.
“Just days after I traveled to Florida to travel to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to give my thoughts and prayers, to visit with victims, and support their families, a tragedy occurs in Michigan with the nation’s 13th school shooting in 2018,” Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner of Virginia said in a statement. “While the Michigan attack may not include the same casualties as the prior massacres, it is another reason for Congress to act. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to address gun violence.”
On Sunday, 14-year-old Zane Holtermann’s mother posted a message on her family’s GoFundMe page in the hopes that it might help to pay for funeral expenses.
“I am writing to ask you to please help fund my son Zane’s funeral expenses,” Josie Holtermann said in the message. “He was 14 years old.”
The man who authorities say killed the seven students and staff members at the high school, 19-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, “is accused of opening fire with a shotgun and a pistol during the afternoon of Thursday, November 15, 2018 at Marshall High School in Texas County, Texas,” the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force said Friday.
“At about 1:00 p.m. Texas time today, JTTF-SWAT personnel entered the high school located in Texas County, Texas and took Dimitrios Pagourtzis into custody,” the statement read. “The individual was peacefully taken into custody.”
The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, released a statement Friday in the wake of the attack, blaming “greed and a culture of violence.”
“Here is what we know: We know this horrific, evil violence erupted on a school campus from a very disturbed person,” LaPierre said. “And then we know this violent individual used weapons designed for war, designed to kill, designed to tear flesh and break bones. And we know the authorities apparently were working to get to him before he hurt anyone else.
“The heartbreaking reality is that the NRA knew this dangerous killer was walking around with weapons designed for soldiers in a war zone. We knew this killer was hiding his own depravity from ordinary people who hunted him in hunting clubs.”
On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced new legislation meant to prevent domestic abusers from acquiring guns.
The “Ban Gun Violence Act” would create a federal prohibition against concealed carry permit applicants who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence dating back five years. The provision would not affect applicants who have already been issued a permit and permits would not be denied because of the conviction, according to a statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office.
CNN is reporting more details are expected to be released Monday.
“As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to use every available law enforcement tool to prevent acts of domestic violence, which cost too many innocent lives,” Sessions said in a statement. “With the bipartisan legislation introduced today in Congress, I hope we can save lives by doing what we can to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and improve compliance with existing law.”
CNN’s Louis Nelson contributed to this report.
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