Dimitrios Pagourtzis was 17 when he committed a school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas back in May of 2018. Before it was all over, ten students lay dead. Pagourtzis was known to have a Columbine obsession as he would continually wear a trench coat along with a shirt that said ‘Born to Kill’. Pagourtzis is said to have committed the mass murder using the shotgun and .38 pistol owned by his father.
In November of last year, it was ruled that Pagourtzis was incompetent to stand trial. He was ordered to be held in a psychiatric facility until such time he could face the charges against him. Yesterday, experts at the psychiatric facility where Pagourtzis is being held have said that he is unlikely to be competent within the next 90 days and should be held for at least another year. Both the defense and the prosecution have agreed to these terms.
Undoubtedly, this must come as yet another blow to the families of the victims. Once again, they are probably seeing justice denied again. However, this doesn’t mean that Pagourtzis will never face trial. A number of school shooters in the past have been ruled incompetent to stand trial only to be tried and convicted after treatment.
Speaking of the victims’ families, some of them have filed a lawsuit against the online retailer that sold Pagourtzis the ammunition he used to kill ten people at Santa Fe High school. Pagourtzis was 17 at the time of the purchase and federal law dictates that long gun ammunition cannot be sold to minors and handgun ammunition cannot be sold to anyone under 21. So what age verification measures did the retailer have in place? All Pagourtzis had to do was check a box that said he was 21. That’s it. We’re not talking about liquor or vaping here. We’re talking about bullets that are only used for the purpose of killing. I used to be against lawsuits like this, but this is an egregious case of negligence in my opinion and shows just one of the many flaws in how dangerous firearms are sold across the country.
With this being Texas and all, the Santa Fe school district has said they will allow certain teachers to carry guns on them at school. According to Texas law, the school boards get to decide what is adequate training for employees who carry a firearm. These employees are only required to undergo 15 to 20 hours of training. That can be done on a weekend. Meanwhile, police undergo over 800 hours of training before they’re allowed out on the street.
The odds of another school shooting happening at a school where one has already happened are incredibly slim. And like I’ve said before, by having guns in school, you’re just putting them closer to the hands of the next school shooter. I’ll say it again, trying to stop gun violence with more guns is like trying to cure cancer with more cancer.
UPDATE 6/4/2020: Another victim’s family has filed a lawsuit against the ammo dealers and Pagourtzis’ parents.