Attorneys for Santa Fe shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis held a news conference Monday in which they said that the rumor that the shooter was targeting Shana Fisher is not true. Shana’s mother, Sadie Rodriguez, had claimed that Pagourtzis had been pressuring her daughter to go out with him for several months and that Sadie had turned him down repeatedly. Dimitrios once dated Fisher’s best friend. In an effort to get him to stop asking her out, Fisher embarrassed the 17-year-old in class the week before the shooting at Santa Fe High School.
On Monday afternoon, the gunman’s attorney Nicholas Poehl denied the rumors. NBC News reports that the lawyer had just left a meeting with his client and stated that his client did not recognize the name Shana Fisher. He described the defendant as still being very confused about what happened on the day of the shooting and indicated that he definitely believes there are mental health issues involved. He described Pagourtzis as disoriented and “in a state.” When asked about a possible motive, Poehl said that he was no closer to determining one now than he was before. When commenting on rejection by 16-year-old Fisher as a possible motive, the attorney said, “It is my understanding that Ms. Fisher’s mother was not particularly involved in her life and may not be in a position to know this.”
The Santa Fe shooter’s attorney also commented on the rumor that his client sang “another one bites the dust” every time he shot someone, saying he has no knowledge of that happening.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis’s father, Antonio Pgourtzis, has offered another possible motive. He said that he believes his son killed 10 people and injured at least 13 others with a shotgun and a revolver because he was bullied at school and described him as a “good boy.”
There is undoubtedly a long road ahead with this case as it makes its way through the legal system. Robert Barfield, also an attorney for the shooter, indicates that the harshest sentence Dimitrios could receive is life in prison with the possibility of parole according to CNN. That’s due in part to a 2005 case that was heard by the Supreme Court. In the case of Roper v Simmons, the court ruled that sentencing someone under the age of 18 to the death penalty is “cruel and unusual punishment” and so is unconstitutional. In the 2012 case of Miller v Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that states can not sentence juveniles to life without parole. Given these two rulings, the maximum sentence that Pagourtzi may receive is life with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
The 17-year-old gunman had no criminal record, and he had no history of behavior problems at school.