Santa Fe Suspect's Father Calls His Son a 'Victim'

Dimitrios Pagourtzis' father says the teen didn't own any guns
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2018 11:43 AM CDT
Santa Fe Suspect's Father Calls His Son a 'Victim'
Santa Fe High School freshman Jai Gillard writes messages on each of the 10 crosses in front the school Monday, May 21, 2018, in Santa Fe. Gillard, who was in the art class Friday morning, knew all of the victims of the shooting.   (Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Dimitrios Pagourtzis' father painted his son as a "victim" in the wake of the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting, which Antonios Pagourtzis blames on bullying. "I believe that's what was behind" Friday's events, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. The Journal notes the family's lawyer made the same claim on Monday, two days after the Santa Fe Independent School District said there was no truth to reports high-school football coaches had bullied the 17-year-old. The elder Pagourtzis also gave a weekend interview to Greek Antenna Television in which he said his son had no guns, but that he did and that his son took them from his closet Friday, reports the AP. "My son, to me, is not a criminal, he's a victim. The kid didn't own guns, I owned guns."

The probable cause statement alleges Dimitrios carried a Remington shotgun and a .38 caliber pistol into Santa Fe High School. "Something must have happened now, this last week," Antonios continued in the Greek interview. "Somebody probably came and hurt him, and since he was a solid boy, I don't know what could have happened. ... All I can say is what I suspect as a father." In comments to the Journal, Antonios describes a success story that has collapsed: "I only went to grammar school. I left from my village in northern Greece when I was 12. I only had the clothes I wore and an extra pair of boots. This country treated us well. I worked hard and became a shipowner. ... Now, our lives are shattered." As for his son, whom he briefly visited in jail Saturday, he said Dimitrios told him he had spared "the kids who were the good kids so they can tell his story." (More school shooting stories.)

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