santa fe high school


Dmitrios Pagourtzi: What you need to know about the alleged Santa Fe shooting suspect

The suspect has been named as 17-year-old student Dmitrios Pagourtzi.


David Gilmour


Posted on May 18, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 3:26 pm CDT

The suspected gunman behind Friday’s high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, has been identified by law enforcement as 17-year-old Dmitrios Pagourtzi—a bullied loner with a fascination for guns.

Pagourtzisreportedly entered an art class dressed in a trench coat armed with three weapons and opened fire, killing nine students and a teacher.

The suspect was taken into custody at the scene and police report that a second person of interest has also been arrested. He has since been booked into Galveston County Jail, charged with capital murder. Pagourtzi is being held without bond.

Gov. Greg Abbott told the press that Pagourtzis told investigators that he’d planned to commit suicide after the shooting and that detailed plans for the attack were on his computer and phone.

“He gave himself up and admitted that he didn’t have the courage to commit the suicide,” Abbott said.

Police are currently searching a home in Galveston County, four miles from the crime scene, but have not said how it is linked to the incident. Further to that, law enforcement say that pipe bombs have been found on the school campus and in the surrounding area.

Pagourtzis reportedly carried out the attack with a shotgun and .38 revolver. Both weapons are registered to his father.

Almost immediately after the shooting, a fake Facebook profile for Pagourtzis was appeared. It showed the suspected killer wearing a “Hillary 2016” hat, edited over his actual profile picture, and a fake banner image emblazoned with the logo of Antifa—the radical left-wing movement.

Pagourtzis’ real Facebook profile revealed that the gunman is a member of a dance group at a local Greek Orthodox church and competed in a dance competition last fall.

“He is a quiet boy,” Father Stelios Sitaras of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church told the Associated Press. “You would never think he would do anything like this.”

The Facebook page also shows that Pagourtzis has been a student at Santa Fe High School since August 2015, where he played defensive tackle on the freshman football team during the 2015-2016 season.

Although police have not clarified what they believe to be the motive for the attack, one student, Dustin Severin, interviewed by local television station KTRK, said that Pagourtzis was frequently bullied by coaches who would “call him names.”

“He’s been picked on by coaches before, for smelling bad and stuff like that,” Severin said. “And he doesn’t really talk to very many people either. He keeps to himself.”

Pictures uploaded to the Facebook page also show a t-shirt laid on the floor with the words “BORN TO KILL” across the front and other images of a black duster jacket with Nazi and Communist badges on it. This is the jacket Pagourtzis is said to have worn to the massacre. In a caption beneath the photo, removed since the attack, he explained the meaning of each badge.

“Duster Hammer and Sickle = Rebellion Rising Sun = Kamikaze Tactics Iron Cross = Bravery Baphomet = Evil Cthulhu = Power,” he wrote.

Students speaking to reporters in the hours since the attack have said that Pagourtzis would wear a trench coat like this every day to school.

Severin, for one, saw the gunman in the hallway shortly before the shooting began, recognizing his duster, and thought nothing unusual.

The suspect’s Facebook bio also states that he planned to join the U.S. Marines in 2019. The military say they have no paperwork to that effect.

An Instagram account that appears to be owned by the 17-year-old follows multiple accounts related to guns, including “Guns Fanatics” and “sickguns.”

Share this article
*First Published: May 18, 2018, 3:53 pm CDT