On Thursday, May 18, Dimitrios Pagourtzis admitted to authorities that he walked into a classroom at Sante Fe High School and proceeded to take the lives of 10 people while injuring at least 10 more. Police have yet to discover a motive for the crime, but one Texas mother believes that the alleged shooter's romantic advances were spurned by her daughter.
Sadie Rodriguez is the mother of shooting victim Shana Fisher. Rodriguez told the Dallas News that sometime in the week prior, Pagourtzis expressed interest in Fisher. As his efforts to win her over became more blatant, Fisher continued to push back. The young woman made it clear that she did not want to pursue a romantic relationship which Rodriguez said made Pagourtzis angry.
On Friday morning, the 17-year-old entered Fisher's art class with the intention of shooting the teen, killing the students, and then taking his own life. The New York Times reported that after realizing the magnitude of what he had done, Pagourtzis couldn't muster up the courage to commit suicide.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told The Times that the alleged shooter planned the assault, as evidenced by his journal and social media posts. Pagourtzis was said to have been inspired by alt-right propaganda. The day of the heinous incident, the teen donned a trenchcoat and a t-shirt that read "Born to Kill." He had posted pictures of his clothing on social media.
People who know Pagourtzis expressed shock and disbelief that the Sante Fe High School football player, who was an active member of his church, would commit such a horrific crime. Although the alleged murderer used two of his father's guns to carry out his agenda, his parents claim that they saw no signs of trouble.
But Rodriguez, along with other parents who lost their children in the slaughter, don't agree. A major red flag was the fact that Pagourtzis posted pictures of guns and his trenchcoat on Facebook with disturbing captions prior to the shooting. And while opening fire on the students, teachers, and staff, the accused was said to taunt his victims. His behavior did not mirror the accounts of those who believed to know him well.
Pagourtzis is in custody and has been charged with capital murder. Rodriguez is now tasked with raising money to pay for Shana's funeral. She said in a Facebook post that her daughter paid the ultimate price for standing up to Pagourtzis.
"My daughter was the most sweet and shy young lady," Rodriguez wrote. "She never hurt anyone. This boy. I can't even do this. I cant even finish this. It isn't even fair."