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7 Families Sue Suspected School Shooter's Parents

They didn't do enough to keep guns away from Dimitrios Pagourtzis: suit
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2018 9:35 AM CST
The father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
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(Newser) – Sabika Sheikh's parents saw it as an opportunity. Sending their daughter to the US as an exchange student from Pakistan could give her a leg up in a later career in business or diplomacy, Abdul Aziz and Farah Naz thought. Three weeks before she was to complete her school year and return home to Karachi, their 17-year-old daughter was instead one of 10 people killed when student Dimitrios Pagourtzis allegedly opened fire inside Texas' Santa Fe High School on May 18. "No other parent should ever have to experience this unbearable grief," say Sheikh's parents, who've now joined six other families in a lawsuit accusing Pagourtzis' parents of failing to secure the weapons used in the massacre and prevent their son's "violent and hateful impulses," per USA Today.

Authorities say Pagourtzis, who admitted to the shooting, used his father's legally owned shotgun and revolver. The lawsuit appears to be partially based on a report from a Greek TV station, which quoted Antonio Pagourtzis as saying the weapons were taken from a closet. A lawyer for the elder Pagourtzis and wife Rose Marie Kosmetatos blames translation issues, however. The guns were, in fact, "kept in a locked gun cabinet or gun safe," he says, per ABC News, adding his clients "could not have predicted what occurred," per the Houston Chronicle. True or not, Aziz and Naz have another motive with their suit, seeking more than $1 million in damages. They hope to showcase America's "anomalous problem with gun violence," of which they previously "had no knowledge," their lawyer says. (Strangers helped a victim's ill husband.)

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