There’s a new wrinkle in the aftermath of the shooting at Santa Fe High School on Friday. The family of the shooter, the boy who killed 10 people, are speaking out. They’re claiming that their son, the one who shot his classmates and teachers, should be seen as a victim. They claim the boy was bullied and “mistreated” by his classmates.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is being held on capital murder charges. Pagourtzis has admitted to killing 8 students and two teachers. The shotgun and .38 revolver he brought to campus both belonged to his father.
That man, Antonios Pagourtzis, is now making statements. He says his son was a ‘good boy’ and that he must have been bullied.
“My son, to me, is not a criminal, he’s a victim,” Antonios Pagourtzis, who immigrated to the U.S. from Greece, reportedly told Greece’s Antenna TV. “The kid didn’t own guns, I owned guns.”
“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.”
Pagourtzis said his son never displayed any signs that he would be capable of such violence, explaining that he didn’t fight with others, didn’t drink alcohol and seemed to enjoy healthy pursuits such as working out.
Pagourtzis also spoke with the Wall Street Journal. He told them that his son was “mistreated at school” and “that’s what was behind” the carnage.
“He never got into a fight with anyone. I don’t know what happened,” he said.
“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.”
“I hope God helps me and my family understand. We are all devastated. It would have been better if he shot me than all those kids.”
“I have guns. I am a hunter and had a farm which I rented in the 1980s,” he said. “The guns in my house are legal and declared.”
Antonios Pagourtzis and his wife were allowed to visit their son in prison for 15 minutes.
“I saw the child. I didn’t see a child who is a murderer. A pure child, a child who was ashamed to look me in the face,” Pagourtzis said.
“He was thinking of his sisters, how his sisters will be able to get about. He said he loves me, he told his mother he loves her and he will try to be strong to help us cope.”
It was during this visit that the younger Pagourtzis reportedly told his parents that he had spared “the kids who were the good kids so they can tell his story.”
Pagourtzis will have his story told. Much of what’s known about the incident will become public during the sentencing, if not before.