Dimitrios Pagourtzis seemed like a fairly average Greek-American 17-year-old high school student. He lived with his family in Galveston, TX. The teen liked video games and played football.
Pagourtzis claimed to want to be in the military and had an active Facebook account. His peers described him as “quiet” and thought it was odd he wore a trench coat most days.
No one expected him to become what he has now become… a famous prisoner.
On May 18, 2018, Dimitrios Pagourtzis:
- Murdered 8 students
- Killed 2 teachers
- Injured 13 other people
He is the Santa Fe High School Shooter.
Audio: The First Call to 911 Dispatch About Santa Fe School Shooting
Listen to the dispatch audio below. It’s the first 911 call made about the mass shooting when responding officers entered Santa Fe High School. Audio source: Broadcastify
Dimitrios Pagourtzis' Motive for the Santa Fe High School Shooting
Currently, the motive is unknown. One can only speculate.
A few weeks prior to the shooting, Pagourtzis posted a picture of a t-shirt on Facebook that said:
Born To Kill
While it is strange, no serious action was taken.
One of the attorneys, Nicholas Poehl, as well as Pagourtzis’ neighbors claimed there were no signs of him struggling. Poehl said Pagourtzis had not shown any indications of mental illness and hasn’t been in trouble with the law.
A former childhood friend, Stephen Bland, knew Pagourtzis had a journal. But he did not think anything of it. Pagourtzis allegedly isolated himself from Bland approximately one year before the shooting.
Police obtained the journal after the high school shooting to help determine the motive.
Pagourtzis claimed he wanted to execute the school shooting and commit suicide immediately after. When the day came, he turned himself into the police on the school's campus. He did not attempt to take his own life.
While we can't be certain, it is highly possible that Pagourtzis had been struggling with depression. Key symptoms of the disease include:
- No longer enjoying things that used to be enjoyable
- Having a desire to commit suicide
Maybe he tried to handle his symptoms through the use of his journal. But in the end, he ultimately became known as the Santa Fe High School Shooter.
The Legalities of the Case of Santa Fe High School Shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis
The legal proceedings for Pagourtzis are still in the fairly early stages. He is currently in jail, and he will most likely be in prison for a long time. According to federal law, he will eventually be eligible for parole.
Since Pagourtzis was 17 at the time of the school shooting, he cannot be given the death penalty. This law was established by the 2005 US Supreme Court case Roper v. Simmons.
The other pivotal US Supreme Court case that directly impacts Pagourtzis is Miller v. Alabama. Because of this case, states are not able to give offenders under 18 a life sentence without parole.
Since Pagourtzis lives in Texas, it is important to consider the state's law. The maximum murder sentence for underage offenders allows the prisoner to apply for parole after 40 years.
Based on this information and the number of people that were killed, it is very possible that Pagourtzis will be given a life sentence. He will not be eligible to apply for parole until he is 57 years old in 2058.
Who knows what laws will be created or change over the next 40 years. As of right now, it seems safe to assume that Pagourtzis will spend the majority (if not the rest of) his life in prison as a famous prisoner.