Antonios Pagourtzis, the father of accused Santa Fe High School school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is a marine repair company owner and Greek immigrant who showed an affinity for Fox News and the NRA’s spokeswoman on Facebook.
Antonios Pagourtzis and Rose Maria Kosmetatos are the mother and father of the 17-year-old high school student who now stands accused of slaying 10 people, a teacher and nine students, at the high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The father told The Wall Street Journal that his son was a “good boy” who was “mistreated at school.”
The accused shooter also goes by the name Dimitri Pagourtzis. Authorities have also detained a person of interest in connection with the mass shooting, but it’s not yet clear who that person is or why they are possibly connected.
The teenager from Santa Fe, Texas, who barged into an art class wearing a trenchcoat and Army boots, is still alive and is in custody, and authorities believe he planted explosives in and around the school. The victims’ names have not yet been released. Ten people were also wounded. The shooting comes in the wake of renewed calls for gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Dimitrios Pagourtzis is also accused of leaving behind a trail of troubling social media posts, some of which fixated on guns on an Instagram page that appears to have belonged to him.
Authorities released this photo of the accused school shooter:
In a statement, his family said: “We are as shocked as anyone else by these events that occurred. We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy. While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday’s tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Believe the Suspect Obtained His Dad’s Guns, Which the Father Owned Legally
The Texas governor said in a news conference that it’s believed the 17-year-old used guns that his father, Antonios Pagourtzis, had purchased legally, a shotgun and a handgun. “Your children and anyone else should not be able to get your legally owned guns,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in a news conference. He urged parents to lock up their legally owned guns.
The governor, Greg Abbott, said during the news conference: “Neither of these weapons were owned or legally possessed by the shooter,” adding that the father legally owned the firearms.
“I have no information if the father was aware the son had taken these weapons,” Abbott continued.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis’ mother and father were married 18 years ago in 2000. There was an age gap between the two at the time; he was 45, and she was 30, according to online records.
It’s likely that some people will question what the parents knew or should have known – and how he was able to obtain the weaponry – in light of the suspect’s disturbing trail of social media posts. While his parents’ Facebook pages are innocuous, an Instagram and Facebook page that appear to have belonged to the accused school shooter contained disturbing materials. According to his Facebook page, Pagourtzis was in the 11th grade at Santa Fe High School. The governor said that, other than the Facebook page photo, there weren’t the same warning signs in this case as there were with accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, though.
There were some signs on social media, however. The accused school shooter allegedly shared photos of a “Born to Kill” T-shirt on his Facebook page before the shooting, although the page has been deleted. An Instagram page that may belong to him followed numerous gun-related accounts, including sickguns, gunspictures, Guns Fanatics, Guns Lovers and Guns Glory. Another photo posted by Pagourtzis on social media shows a duster jacket with icons that include Nazi symbols, and students have said he was often seen in a trenchcoat. He also played JV football. The son had no previous criminal history, according to the governor.
In a journal, though, the shooter wrote about the shooting and that he intended to commit suicide, the governor said.
2. Antonios Pagourtzis Liked the Pages of Dana Loesch & Fox News on Facebook
The suspect’s father gave some hints of his views on guns and politics through social media likes on his Facebook page. The father liked the pages for Fox News and Dana Loesch on Facebook. Dana Loesch is the controversial, outspoken spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. Most of the dad’s other page likes are cities in Greece. Loesch has been the NRA’s point person in dealing with the gun control cries that erupted in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.
The father’s other Facebook posts, at least those that are visible, do not appear to be political. Rather, they are focused on boats, pictures of his kids, and Greek culture. The suspect’s mother mostly shared positive sayings on her Facebook page and made mentions to Greece. “Love fiercely because this all ends,” read one post.
She also shared positive phrases about Jesus Christ and being Christian. Rosa’s profile picture is a graphic about coffee. This is one of the religiously oriented posts she shared.
She also shared a post that reads “Make America Great Again. Go to Church & Worship God.”
The accused shooter’s mother also shared a saying from Buddha.
3. The Father is an Immigrant From Greece
Antonios Pagourtzis is an immigrant from Greece, according to his Facebook page. He lives in Houston, Texas, and is from Magoulítsa, Kardhitsa, Greece, the Facebook page says.
One photo does appear to show the dad shooting bows and arrows with children. The suspect’s parents have not commented on the massacre. According to their Facebook pages, the suspect appears to also have a sister.
The family appears to be involved in Greek dancing through an Orthodox church. The suspect’s mother shared a photo of Greek dancers on her Facebook page.
In 2014, Dimitrios Pagourtzis was a dancer at the Galveston Greek Festival, according to a post on Facebook. The son’s photo was also shown on the website for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, a Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, Texas, where he appeared as a Greek dancer.
4. The Accused Shooter’s Dad Owns a Marine Repair Company
On Facebook, the accused school shooter’s dad wrote that “he worked at North American Marine, Inc.”
The father appears to own that marine company. Other photos on the dad’s Facebook page show him on a tractor and with family members. His cover photo is a Greek logo, and some people write in Greek on the father’s page. The marine company’s website says that it specializes in 24 Hour Service, Diesel Engine Spare Parts & Service, Turbine & Diesel Repair, General Ship Repair, Field Machining, and Marine & Industrial Cleaning.
5. The Suspect’s Mother Works for a Medical Center & There Might Be a Bomb at His Mom’s Trailer
It appears that Dimitrios Pagoutzis’ mother works at a medical center. Rosemarie K Pagourtzis is listed in a Texas Tribune salaries database as “Administrative Associate in Pediatric Endocrinology, a department of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.” She makes $42,201, and her race was listed as Hispanic/Latina in that database. She was hired in September 2013.
Click2Houston reported that authorities “were searching a home tied to the suspect.” Several law enforcement agencies were at a home on State Highway 6, about three miles away from the school. A Harris County deputy at the scene said, ‘there’s a bomb’ at the house,” according to the television station. Online records show Dimitrios Pagourtzis’ mom lives in a trailer on that property.