Accused Santa Fe school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis still not mentally fit for trial


Accused Texas school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis — who allegedly killed eight of his classmates and two teachers in 2018 — is still not competent to stand trial, a local report said Friday.

Pagourtzis, 21, was ordered by a judge to remain at a mental health facility for the next 12 months as doctors attempt to restore his competency, Houston’s KPRC-TV reported.

At the end of the year he will be re-evaluated, according to the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.

Pagourtzis was first ruled incompetent to stand trial in 2019, 18 months after the massacre at Santa Fe High School. This is the third time the court has extended his hospital stay.

His defense had initially argued that his mental health deteriorated during his time in prison. Pagourtzis was hospitalized after several medical evaluations found him mentally unfit for trial, according to the outlet.

“This was obviously not the news we wanted to hear, and we share the families’ frustration in the continued delay,” District Attorney Jack Roady wrote in a statement to KPRC. “We will continue to monitor the defendant’s status and treatment. We remain committed to seeing this case tried and seeing that justice done.”

Pagourtizs’ attorney Nick Poehl said that while he was not surprised by Friday’s announcement, he was disappointed that the case has stalled again.

Accused high school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis was ordered to stay in mental health treatment, according to local reports.
AP
Accused high school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis reportedly wore a T-shirt saying “Born to Kill” when he opened fire on students.
Accused high school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis reportedly wore a T-shirt saying “Born to Kill” when he opened fire on students.

“It’s disappointing for all parties involved, but especially for the victims and their families, who are still waiting for closure on this case, and even for basic information about it,” Poehl said in a statement to the outlet. “We remain hopeful that the case will be resolved at some point in the future, whether that involves trial, or a civil commitment proceeding which feels increasingly inevitable.”

Pagourtzis was 17 on May 18, 2018 when he is accused of walking into Santa Fe High School wearing a trench coat and a “Born to Kill’’ T-shirt — and shouting “Surprise!” before opening fire on classmates and staff.

Classmates described him as strange and a “loner,” but there were no major red flags raised that led other to believe that the former honor student and football player had murderous intentions.

His father claimed his son was a “good boy” — and blamed the shooting on bullying that he said the teenager experienced.

Members of Arcadia First Baptist Church near Santa Fe High School react to the deadly school shooting on May 20, 2018.
Members of Arcadia First Baptist Church near Santa Fe High School react to the deadly school shooting on May 20, 2018.
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Secretly, the disturbed student was allegedly planning his massacre in private journals — including an ultimately unfulfilled plan to kill himself at the end of the rampage, officials said. Police were able to corner Pagourtzis just four minutes after he began shooting, law enforcement officials said.

Pagourtzis was also charged in federal court for the shooting, however details of that case are sealed given his age at the time. Under Texas law, however, he is considered an adult.

Due to his age, he is barred from receiving a death sentence or a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, KPRC reported.

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