Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Texas Shooting Suspect, Posted Neo-Nazi Imagery Online
Before allegedly killing at least eight people, he apparently posted online images of a Nazi medal, a musician favored by the alt-right, and a ‘born to kill’ T-shirt.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the suspected gunman who opened fire at a Texas high school on Friday morning, apparently posted photos of neo-Nazi iconography online, according to social media accounts flagged by classmates and reviewed by The Daily Beast.
Pagourtzis, 17, was booked into Galveston County Jail for capital murder on Friday. He allegedly killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School, where he was a student. Explosive devices were left inside the school near Houston, authorities said. Pagourtzis reportedly had an assault-style rifle, shotgun, and pistol.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters that Pagourtzis said in journals he wanted to kill himself after the shooting. Instead, he surrendered to police.
Pagourtzis told an investigator “he did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told,” according to court papers.
Before his arrest was announced, two Santa Fe students also told The Daily Beast that Pagourtzis was the gunman and they confirmed a Facebook account with Pagourtzis’ name belonged to him. Attempts by The Daily Beast to reach Pagourtzis’ family were unsuccessful.
On April 30, Pagourtzis apparently posted a T-shirt with “born to kill” printed on the front, boasting that it was custom-made.
That same day, Pagourtzis posted multiple pictures of a duster jacket emblazoned with a variety of symbols including the Iron Cross, a German military award last given by the Nazis, and other pins. He said he equated the Iron Cross with “bravery.” Pagourtzis said a hammer and sickle meant “rebellion,” a rising sun meant “kamikaze tactics,” and a baphomet meant “evil.”
Rey Montemayor III, a senior who said he played football with Pagourtzis confirmed the Facebook account to be the accused shooter’s.
“I played football with him for three years,” Montemayor said. “People on the news said he was bullied a lot. I never seen him being bullied. I never bullied him. He was cool to me. I lifted with him a couple of times.”
Montemayor said that when he was with Pagourtzis, “he was a really cool guy.” He said they played football together first semester.“He was quiet. He did keep to himself. That’s pretty much it,” Montemayor told The Daily Beast, adding that he never thought Pagourtzis would shoot up their school.“I know he was quiet and everything but any conversations we had in the locker room or in the field or after games, he never struck me as that person.”
Candi Thurman, a junior at the school, also told The Daily Beast that Pagourtzis wore a coat similar to the one posted to his Facebook page.
“The sketchy thing is, he wore a full-on black trench coat to school every day,” Thurman said, adding she hadn’t had a class with him since eighth grade. Montemayor said that in retrospect, Pagourtzis’ trench coat was odd.
“Why would you wear a trench coat when it’s 100 degrees outside? When he first started wearing that trench coat, it was during the winter.” But in the hotter months, Pagourtzis didn’t take it off.
Pagourtzis began wearing the coat at the beginning of the year.
“It’s like 90 degrees outside and this guy is still wearing a trench coat,” Thurman said. “It should have been noted. That’s a red flag right there.”
Other images on Pagourtzis’ now-deleted Facebook page suggest a possible interest in white supremacist groups. Pagourtzis uploaded a number of T-shirts that feature Vaporwave-style designs. Vaporwave, a music and design movement, has spawned a related movement called Fashwave, which borrows the same aesthetic but applies them to neo-Nazi subjects.
Pagourtzis’ Facebook header image was the cover of an album by musician Perturbator. Perturbator’s music has been co-opted by members of the Fashwave movement, BuzzFeed previously reported. Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer frequently includes Perturbator’s music in “Fashwave Fridays” posts.
Facebook told The Daily Beast it had removed Pagourtzis' account after the shooting.
A still-live Instagram with Pagourtzis’ name has posts from April 24 showing an arcade-style game featuring a sniper rifle and another with a gun and knife on a bedspread captioned: “Hi fuckers.”