Santa Fe suspect was 'repeatedly rejected' by victim in months before shooting
The mother of a 16-year-old girl killed in the Santa Fe school shooting has claimed that her daughter publicly rejected suspected killer Dimitrios Pagourtzis in the days before the attack.
Sadie Rodriguez stated that her daughter, Shana Fisher, had endured "four months of problems from this boy" and had repeatedly rebuffed his advances over a time period of four months.
In a private message on Facebook to the Los Angeles Times, she said that "he kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no."
As the suspected shooter allegedly became more aggressive with his advances, Shana's mother claimed her daughter finally stood up to him and embarrassed him publicly in class. "A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like," she wrote.
In addition, Rodriguez claimed that her daughter was the first person to be shot, but didn't explain to the newspaper how she knew this. The newspaper has reported that Shana's friends said they could not corroborate any of these claims.
The shooting, at Santa Fe High School, south-east of Houston in Texas, tragically saw 10 people killed - eight students and two teachers - and 13 more injured, including one of the school's policemen who is in a critical condition in hospital.
Pagourtzis is being held on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a public servant, authorities said on Friday night. Law enforcement officials also stated on Friday that explosive devices were discovered on the high school campus and surrounding area.
According to an affidavit filed in court, the 17-year-old waived his right to remain silent and admitted "to shooting multiple people". Furthermore, reports have claimed that the shooting suspect told police that he spared certain students who he liked so he could "have his story told".
The teenager apparently exchanged gunfire with police for about 15 minutes before surrendering, but is said to have initially planned to take his own life.
According to another harrowing account of the shooting, posted on Facebook by a survivor's mother, the suspected shooter repeatedly taunted his victims during the attack.
Isabelle Van Ness's mother Deedra Van Ness wrote that her daughter could hear the shooter in a next-door classroom yelling "Woo hoo!" while shooting.
"The gunman then comes back into their room and they hear him saying … are you dead? Then more shots are fired," Deedra Van Ness wrote. "By this time, cell phones all over the classroom are ringing and he's taunting the kids in the closet asking them … do you think it's for you? do you want to come answer it? Then he proceeds to fire more bullets into the closet and tries to get in."
In a statement, Pagourtzis' family said they were "saddened and dismayed" by the deadly attack and "as shocked as anyone else".
They wrote: "We are as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events that occurred. We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy. While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday’s tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love. We share the public’s hunger for answers as to why this happened, and will await the outcome of the investigation before speaking about these events."