The Associated Press has reported that the father of Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the accused Santa Fe High School shooter, told a news outlet in Greece that his son should be seen as a victim because he was bullied.
“Something must have happened now, this last week,” Antonios Pagourtzis told a television station in Greece, his native country. “Somebody probably came and hurt him, and since he was a solid boy, I don’t know what could have happened. I can’t say what happened. All I can say is what I suspect as a father.”
Pagourtzis said that his son Dimitrios went to a closet in his home and took his shotgun and handgun.
“My son, to me, is not a criminal, he’s a victim,” he said.
Lawyers for Dimitrios Pagourtzis indicated that they were indeed conducting their own investigation into the allegations of his father. There were reports of so-called “teacher-on-student” bullying which may have involved the young man’s football coaches.
Santa Fe School District officials, however, claimed that they had already investigated those accusations. They said that their investigation had “confirmed” that the allegations of bullying were false.
The elder Pagourtzis said that his son had told him he acted alone and purposely did not shoot some students because, he said, they “were the good kids so they can tell his story.” He also said that his son did not own any guns or weapons of any kind.
Authorities have said that Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed eight students and two teachers, and wounded 13 others. He is being held in Galveston County jail and may face the death penalty under Texas law.
In his telephone interview with Greece’s Antenna TV, Antonios Pagourtzis said his son had not shown signs that he was prone to violence. According to the father, his son had not gotten into fights, worked out often, and didn’t even drink alcohol.
“He pulled the trigger but he is not this person,” he said. “It is like we see in the movies when someone gets into his body and does things that are not done. It’s not possible in one day for the child to have changed so much.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.