It’s not USA TODAY’s policy to identify minors charged with crimes. Due to the magnitude of this school shooting and the fact the suspect has been charged as an adult, USA TODAY has decided to identify him.
The family of one of the victim’s in the Texas high school shooting says they believe their daughter was targeted because she repeatedly rejected the gunman’s advances to date her.
Shana Fisher, a 16-year-old student, was one of the 10 killed in Friday’s attack at Santa Fe High School. Her mother said the shooting followed four months of advancements from the suspected gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, which could point to a potential motive.
She “had four months of problems” with Pagourtzis, her mother, Sadie Rodriguez, told the Los Angeles Times. “He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.”
But Pagourtzis continued to get more aggressive, Rodriguez said.
A week before the shooting, Fisher embarrassed him in front of others in a class by standing up and telling Pagourtzis that she wouldn’t go out with him, Rodriguez told CNN.
Rodriguez said Pagourtzis had dated Fisher’s best friend and she had told her daughter “you don’t date your friend’s exes.”
Police haven’t released a motive in the attack, but after Pagourtzis was arrested he told officers that he targeted students he didn’t like and wanted his story told, according to an affidavit filed in Galveston County court.
Pagourtzis had posted photos of firearms, a knife and a custom-made T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Born to Kill” on his social media pages. He also posted a photo of a coat that included the Iron Cross insignia.
He wore a trench coat to mask the shotgun and .38 revolver he brought in the school, authorities say.
Pagourtzis centered his attack in the school’s art complex, barricading himself inside from the fusillade of police officers’ bullets that followed him there, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said.
He surrendered to police about 30 minutes after the shooting began.
While Pagourtzis faces charges of capital murder and aggravated assault on a peace officer, he cannot face the death penalty, according to a 2005 federal Supreme Court ruling.
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