The father of the teenager suspected of killing ten people at Santa Fe High School last Friday is blaming alleged bullying at school for the mass murder his son, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has reportedly admitted to.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dimitrios’s father Antonios Pagourtzis said that his son was “a good boy” who was “mistreated at school.”
“I believe that’s what was behind” the deadly shooting, the father told the newspaper.
The elder Pagourtzis said that the family was in shock and trying to understand how the boy his father described as “family’s pillar” could have committed such a violent act.
“He never got into a fight with anyone. I don’t know what happened,” he said. “I hope God helps me and my family understand. We are all devastated. It would have been better if he shot me than all those kids.”
The suspect’s father told the Wall Street Journal that he had visited his son for 20 minutes at the Galveston County Jail, where the 17-year-old is being held without bail.
“He could not look at me in the eyes,”Antonios said.
“He is confused, can’t remember what happened. He said he wants to apologize to his sisters. He said he’ll be strong and help us see this through.”
Antonios Pagourtzis described his family’s background in the interview, and defended his ownership of the firearms his son used to gun down his classmates and teachers, including a girl he had been aggressively pursuing in the months before the massacre.
“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,” Pagourtzis said.
“This country treated us well. I worked hard and became a shipowner. I had three ships, which I sold,” he added. “Now, our lives are shattered.”
Dimitrios reportedly used two weapons in the shooting: a Remington shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver. Both firearms belonged to his father.
“I have guns, I am a hunter and had a farm which I rented in the 1980s,” Antonios Pagourtzis told Greek Antenna TV.
“The guns in my house are legal and declared.”