In the days after school shootings, experts try to piece together motives. Social media and messaging platforms are sifted for any signs that might have been missed. In the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting Friday, authorities have confirmed that the shooter targeted people he didn’t like, and at least one that he had asked out.
“Shana Fisher, who turned 16 just days before she died in the attack,” The Daily Mail writes, “had been fending off advances from Dimitrios Pagourtzis for months, the teen girl’s mother Sadie Rodriguez said on Saturday.”
“He continued to get more aggressive,” Rodriguez told reporters. “She finally stood up to him and embarrassed him.”
Though this appears to be an identifiable motive, there’s no word yet from officials confirming the allegations.
Shana Fisher “had 4 months of problems from this boy” the girl’s mother said. “He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.”
The rejection, as it is being described, happened a week before the shooting.
“Nicholas Poehl, a lawyer for the Pagourtzis’s family, said he hadn’t heard about any such interaction between Pagourtzis and any of the victims and therefore couldn’t comment,” DM adds. “He cautioned that he’d spent much of the day disputing false rumors about the teen’s personal life.”
Pagourtzis has confessed to the shooting. He’s reportedly cooperating with investigators. One of the odd parts of this all-too-common scenario is that the shooter intentionally spared some students, people that he liked. He told investigators he let them live so he would “have his story told.”
And the survivors are telling the story. It began when the shooter shot out a window in the door to the art room with the shotgun he’d brought to campus.
Breanna Quintanilla was in the room. He yelled “If you all move, I’m going to shoot you all.”
He singled out one of the students. “I’m going to kill you,” he said before he fired.
Quintanilla ran for a door at the back of the room, and he fired at her. “He missed me,” she said. “But it went ahead and ricocheted and hit me in my right leg.”
“It was a very scary thing,” Quintanilla said. “I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to make it back to my family.”
The attack seems to have been contained to the art room, mostly. The shooter even left the room, then came back in. A student who had hidden in a closet said he came back in and looked at the people who he had already shot, and shot some of them again.
He was aware that there were people hiding in the closet, and he was taunting them, asking them if they wanted to come out.
When the school resource officer arrived, the shooter shot him in the arm. It wasn’t long, though, before other officers arrived on the scene. “[The shooter] sort of fell to the ground and surrendered,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), head of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Pagourtzis planned to commit suicide after the killing, but didn’t.
“We are as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events that occurred. We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy,” his family said in a statement after the shooting.
“While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday’s tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love.”