The father of the Santa Fe High School shooter says his son is really a “victim.”
The man's callous statement comes days after his 17-year-old son, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, killed 10 of his schoolmates and one teacher.
“My son, to me, is not a criminal. He’s a victim,” Antonios Pagourtzis told The Wall Street Journal.
“I feel the pain of the others, but I have the same pain. I have the same exact pain,” he continued. “Something must have happened now, this last week. Somebody probably came and hurt him, and since he was a solid boy, I don’t know what could have happened. I can’t say what happened. All I can say is what I suspect as a father, because I’ve lost my boy.”
One of the victims, Shana Fisher, had reportedly turned down his advances before the shooting, her mother and other parents told reporters. But even if that incident was the catalyst to his rampage, that doesn't justify his actions.
Whether or not the murderer was bullied or rejected, nothing excuses taking innocent lives. Unfortunately, it appears that the shooter’s father, who has two charges of misdemeanor assault under his belt, may not see it that way as he thinks bullying is the reason why the shooter killed his fellow students.
It’s understandable why Antonios Pagourtzis is in denial as no one wants to see their child as a hardened criminal, but resorting to victim-blaming is incredibly insensitive and selfish. Dimitrios Pagourtzis is the only person responsible for his actions, and he must be held accountable.