Family of Santa Fe school shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis 'shocked and confused'
The family of Dimitrios Pagourtzis say they are “shocked and confused” by the teenager’s alleged involvement in the massacre of 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday.
Authorities said in an affidavit that Pagourtzis admitted to walking into an arts classroom at Santa Fe High School and shooting at students. He then exchanged “a lot of firepower” with authorities before eventually surrendering.
But the 17-year-old’s family said in a statement that the attack was “incompatible” with the boy they know.
“We are 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,” the family said in a statement.
“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. We have been and will continue to cooperate with the authorities conducting the investigation, and ask for the public’s patience as it moves forward.”
Undated photo of Santa Fe high school shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis.Facebook via AP
The family also extended condolences to the victims and gratitude to first responders, and asked the public to respect their privacy and that of the victims’ families, “as all of us try to process these events, and begin the healing process.”
WATCH: Full coverage of the Santa Fe school shooting
Pagourtzis obtained the guns from his father, who owned them legally, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Friday. It wasn’t clear whether the father knew his son had taken the weapons.
The gunman yelled “Surprise!” before he started shooting, according to Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. He also told police that he avoided shooting students he liked “so he could have his story told,” according to the probable-cause affidavit.
Pagourtzis appeared to have no prior arrests or confrontations with law enforcement.
— With files from the Associated Press