Dimitrios Pagourtzis is the teenage shooting suspect who witnesses say shouted “surprise” before opening fire on students and teachers in an art room at Santa Fe High School in Texas, killing several students and a teacher and injuring others. In the initial aftermath, KHOU reported that eight people were killed. That number eventually rose to 10, with officials saying that nine students and one adult had been killed. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott also said that 10 other people were wounded at the school. The suspect is being held at Galveston County Jail on charges of capital murder, making him eligible for the death penalty. There is no bond set. A criminal affidavit in the case reads that Pagourtzsis “did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told.”
The school is located 36 miles outside of Houston and has around 1,400 students enrolled. The majority of the fatalities are students. The suspect was first named by CBS News as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17. Pagourtzis is a student at the school and has been shown to have an interest in the far-right political culture of fashwave. He has been taken into custody and is alive, but was injured, CNN reports. He is talking to police, according to CNN.
The Santa Fe Independent School District posted on Facebook at around 8 a.m. local time on May 18 that Santa Fe High School was being placed on lockdown due to an active shooter event. At around 10 a.m., officials said that the scene was no longer active with Galveston County Commissioner Joe Giusti saying there were “multiple fatalities.” A second person was detained at the scene in relation to the shooting. According to CNN, an 18-year-old, who police had called a “person of interest,” is being investigated as a possible accomplice. His or her name has not been released.
Here’s what you need to know about Dimitrios Pagourtzis and the shooting:
1. Pagourtzis Posted a Photo of a T-Shirt With the Words ‘Born to Kill’ Emblazoned Across It & a Jacket With Nazi Symbols on It
On April 30, Pagourtzis posted a photo to Facebook of a t-shirt with the words, “Born to Kill” written across it. CW39 reports that witnesses saw the Santa Fe High School suspect wearing a “Born to Kill” t-shirt and “army boots.” Those witnesses added that the suspect is “quiet” and “kept to himself.”
According to his now-deleted Facebook page, Pagourtzis is in the 11th grade at Santa Fe High School.
Another photo posted by Pagourtzis shows a duster jacket with icons that include Nazi symbols. He described the different medals attached to the duster, including the Iron Cross, which he says stands for “bravery.” Classmates told NBC News that Pagourtzis wore a trenchcoat to school everyday, even if it was hot.
Dustin Severin, 17, told KPRC-TV he saw Pagourtzis in the hallway before the shooting wearing his “usual outfit.” Pagourtzis told the news station, “He wears a trench coat every day, and it’s like 90 degrees out here.”
In October 2016, Pagourtzis was noted as playing “a huge role” in a 14-0 victory for the Santa Fe JV football team. While in 2013, the Galveston County Daily News listed Pagourtzis as an honor student at Santa Fe Junior High School. Speaking to the Daily Beast, a teammate of Pagourtzis’, Rey Montemayor III, said, “I played football with him for three years. People on the news said he was bullied a lot. I never seen him being bullied. I never bullied him. He was cool to me. I lifted with him a couple of times.”
Severin told KPRC, “He’s been picked on by coaches before, for smelling bad and stuff like that. And he doesn’t really talk to very many people either. He keeps to himself.” Montemayor III continued, “He was quiet. He did keep to himself. That’s pretty much it. I know he was quiet and everything but any conversations we had in the locker room or in the field or after games, he never struck me as that person.” He added that the suspect “was a really cool guy.”
2. An Instagram Page that Appears to Belong to Pagourtzis Featured a Post Showing a Gun
A now-deleted Instagram page that also appears to belong to Pagourtzis shows just three photos. One shows a handgun and a knife while another shows a shooting arcade computer game. Pagourtzis wrote in the bio section, “Numb.” His Instagram account also included a photo of a frog.
The Instagram account followed only a few pages and all were connected to guns or President Donald Trump.
In November 2014, Pagourtzis’ was a dancer at the Galveston Greek Festival with family members, according to a post on the group’s Facebook page. As a dancer, Pagourtzis’ photo was also shown on the website for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, a Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, Texas.
3. Pagourtzis’ Father Is a Fan of the NRA’s Dana Loesch
Pagourtzis’ parents are Antonios Pagourtzis and Rose Marie Kosmetatos. Online records show that they were married in Texas in March 2000. At the time of their marriage, Pagourtzis’ father was 45, his mother was 30. Pagourtzis’ father, who is originally from Greece owns North American Marine. Antonios Pagourtzis says he is from the town of Magoulitsa in Kardhitsa, Greece, and now lives in Houston, Texas. The suspect’s mother works as an administrative associate in pediatric endocrinology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, according to a government salary database maintained by the Texas Tribune.
According to his Facebook page, Antonios Pagourtzis “likes” Dana Loesch, the conservative political activist and spokesperson for the National Rifle Association. In the wake of the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, Loesch publicly defended the NRA’s stance on assault rifles.
According to KPRC-TV, police were at a home on State Highway 6, about three miles from the school in Alvin, Texas, where records show Pagourtzis’ mother lives in a trailer. A deputy at the scene told the news station “there’s a bomb” at the house and a bomb squad was there. Police were also searching a second home about four miles away from the school.
Pagourtzis’ family has not commented about the shooting. A woman who answered the phone at a number associated with the suspect’s family told The Associated Press, “Give us our time right now, thank you.” It is not yet clear how Pagourtzis obtained the gun or guns used in the shooting. According to CNN, the suspect has not been found in the system for purchasing hand guns. Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said that the guns used in the shooting were purchased legally by the suspect’s father.
4. Pagourtzis Is Reported to Have Also Been Armed With Pipe Bombs
Initial reports indicated that the suspect was armed with a sawed-off shotgun, a .38 revolver and was carrying pipe bombs. The gunman had a duffel bag with him and was wearing a trench coat, witnesses have said. ABC Houston reported shortly after Pagourtzis’ arrest that police surrounded a home along Highway 6 in the area with authorities saying it was possible that there were explosives inside. That scene was around a mile away from Santa Fe High School. KPRC’s Jake Reiner was at the scene and said that a law enforcement told him, “There’s a bomb,” in the mobile home.
The shooting began during an art class. Speaking to CW39, sophomore Dakota Shrader described the scene saying, “I’m still scared, my heart is broken for all these people. It’s just something that I did not want to go through, especially on a Friday. As soon as I heard that alarm, it didin’t sound like the fire alarm so I was scared wondering what that alarm was and as soon as we got outside, ‘run, run, run’ is all I heard.”
According to the University of Texas Medical Branch, one middle aged man was brought to their hospital. The man is in critical condition after undergoing surgery. He was shot in the chest. KHOU’s Michelle Choi reports that the man is a police officer, identified as school resource officer John Barnes, who was shot in the “upper arm” area.
Two others, a middle aged woman, and a person younger than 18, were both shot in the leg and are in stable condition.
ABC Houston’s Erica Simon reports that a teacher at the school is also a former Marine sounded a fire alarm to warn the school of an active shooter.
In March 2018, Santa Fe High School was put on lockdown after reports of shots fired at the school, reports CW39. Freshman Gary Winthorpe told the station, “We were sitting in class and we heard an announcement that said lockdown. This is not a drill. It was scary and with what happened in Florida it made this so much more real.” Another, Lila Ismail, said, “I was really scared thinking about what happened in Florida because we were just sitting there and we didn’t know what was going to happen to us.”
The panic resulted after a female student wrote something on social media about a shooting and then someone reported hearing gun shots outside of the school. There has been no suggestion that the May 18 shooting is related to those threats.
5. Donald Trump Tweeted that Reports Were ‘Not Looking Good’ in Relation to the Shooting
Donald Trump’s first reaction to news of the shooting was to tweet, “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!” Trump later said during a press conference, “To the students, families, teachers, and personnel at Santa Fe High, we’re with you in this tragic hour and we’re with you forever.”
Students at Santa Fe High School held a walkout on April 20 as part of a national movement against gun violence:
While one of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Kyra Parrow, tweeted poignantly, “Today is my last day of school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high and I find out there’s been a shooting in Texas at Santa Fe high school. My heart aches for them.” The March for Our Lives group also tweeted about the Santa Fe shooting:
Activist Emma Gonzalez wrote on Twitter, “Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices.”
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this report linked to a YouTube channel believed to belong to the shooter based on information from the shooter’s Facebook page. The channel, Comma Kazi, does not belong to the shooter and is not affiliated with him in anyway.
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