Antonios Pagourtzios, father of Texas high school shooter Dimitris Pagourtzis, told Greece’s TV station Antenna that his son had been bullied, making him a victim and suggesting that was one reason why he snapped.
“Something must have happened now, this last week,” he told the station. “Somebody probably came and hurt him, and since he was a solid boy, I don’t know what could have happened. I can’t say what happened. All I can say is what I suspect as a father.”
The suspect’s attorney, Nicholas Poehl, has said he is investigating whether his client endured any “teacher-on-student” bullying after reading reports of the teen being mistreated by football coaches.
The school district issued a statement saying it investigated the accusations and “confirmed that these reports were untrue.”
Pagourtzis said his son took a legally owned shotgun and handgun from his closet before leaving for school that day but didn’t say whether he knew his son had done it. The teen didn’t own firearms of his own, he also said.
“My son, to me, is not a criminal, he’s a victim,” he said. “The kid didn’t own guns. I owned guns.” There were no reports whether the guns were locked or just left in the closet or if the father would be charged under Texas’ negligent storage law for not having the weapons secured.
Pagourtzis said his son never displayed any signs that he would be capable of such violence, explaining that he didn’t fight with others, didn’t drink alcohol and seemed to enjoy healthy pursuits such as working out.
“He pulled the trigger but he is not this person,” he said. “It is like we see in the movies when someone gets into his body and does things that are not done. It’s not possible in one day for the child to have changed so much.”
He said that after the teen had been taken into custody, he and his wife were allowed to visit him for 15 to 20 minutes.
“I saw the child. I didn’t see a child who is a murderer. A pure child, a child who was ashamed to look me in the face,” he said.
“He was thinking of his sisters, how his sisters will be able to get about. He said he loves me. He told his mother he loves her, and he will try to be strong to help us cope.”