Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 – 4:08 PM
(AFP) Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who police say shot 10 people dead Friday at his Texas high school, recently posted a picture of a black t-shirt on his Facebook page that read: “BORN TO KILL.”
But little else hinted at why Pagourtzis launched his rampage as the school day began in rural Santa Fe, Texas, halfway between Houston and the Gulf of Mexico.
Police said there were no significant red flags that would have drawn attention to him, though the attack was clearly planned.
He entered the school carrying a shotgun and revolver under a long coat and he opened fire on fellow students.
He killed 10, mostly students, and wounded 10 others before surrendering. He also planted homemade explosive devices during the morning assault, but none apparently detonated.
Information from his cellphone and computer showed “not only did he want to commit the shooting, but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, briefing reporters.
“He gave himself up, and admitted at the time he didn’t have the courage to commit suicide.”
- Football player, hopeful marine -
Pagourtzis had no criminal history nor record of any kind with law enforcement, according to Abbott.
He wasn’t known to own any guns. The shotgun and pistol were both registered to his father.
“His slate is pretty clean. And so there simply were not the same type of warning signs that we have seen in so many other shootings.”
The boyish, clean-cut 17 year old, is the son of a Greek immigrant apparently in the marine supply business.
The photograph on his Facebook page, since taken down, shows Pagourtzis in a black shirt and black baseball cap with a peace symbol on it.
His post-high school plans were set: he indicated that he intended to join the US Marines after graduating in 2019.
The family lived in the plain about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston, a region that suffered some of the worst flooding from Hurricane Harvey last year.
In a state where high school football is king, “Dimitri” played as a defensive lineman for the last two years on the school’s freshman and junior varsity teams.
But a tentative roster posted online for the coming year, which would be his final one in high school, did not have his name.
“He was very quiet. Stuck to himself,” a teammate told local television. “I maybe have seen him get bullied a few times, but nothing too serious. For him to do something this catastrophic, it’s crazy.”
His Facebook page suggested a fascination with cult icons and symbols. His profile picture was taken from an album by a Paris-based techno musician known as “Perturbator” with a red inverted pentagram, seen often as a satanic symbol.
Above a picture of his black coat, he described some of the symbols attached to it.
“Hammer and Sickle = Rebellion; Rising Sun = Kamikaze Tactics; Iron Cross = Bravery” he wrote.
While there was no immediate confirmation, descriptions by students at the scene of the shooting suggested that was the jacket he wore.
© Agence France-Presse