Mom Claims Santa Fe Shooter Targeted & Killed Her Daughter Because She Rejected Him

Shana Fisher targeted by santa fe school shooter
Sadie Rodriguez/Facebook

On Friday, Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, became the latest in the country to fall victim to a mass shooting. In the days since the massacre, we've learned more about the troubled school shooter, the actions he took during that horror-filled morning, and the eight students and two teachers who died at his hands. But on Friday evening we learned a new layer of troubling information. Sadie Rodriguez, the mother of slain 16-year-old Shana Fisher, claimed that the shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzi, may have intentionally targeted her daughter because she rejected him -- and the details of Fisher's ongoing struggle with her killer are terrifying. 


In a statement released to the media, Pagourtzis's family referred to him as a "smart, quiet, sweet boy." While it's clear that the teenager's actions are heinous, his family clearly believes they don't match up with what they know about him. "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."

But some believe that Pagourtzis's actions line up with other incredibly troubling behaviors. While investigators haven't shared what they believe his main motive to be, Rodriguez feels Pagourtzis targeted her girl specifically. Fisher had turned 16 just days before she was murdered on Friday morning and Rodriguez told the Associated Press that her daughter had been putting up with her killer's unwanted advances for four months. 

shana fisher shot in santa fe school shooting
Sadie Rodriguez/Facebook

According to the her mom, Fisher knew Pagourtzis, 17, because he was her best friend's ex-boyfriend. The killer apparently wanted more from Fisher but she reportedly had no interest in being with him. "He kept making advances on her, getting increasingly more aggressive, and she repeatedly told him no," Rodriguez told the AP. After being harassed by the boy for weeks,  Fisher finally "stood up to him." Rodriguez said that sometime last week, before the school shooting, her daughter publicly rejected and embarrassed Pagourtzis in class. "A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like," the mom said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "Shana being the first one."

The Los Angeles Times reports that Rodriguez didn't say how she knew her daughter was the first person shot during the killer's rampage. No other reports of the shooting can confirm that claim either. Similarly troubling, sophomore Kole Dixon told the New York Times that Pagourtzis's ex-girlfriend was among those shot on Friday morning, though this claim also could not be confirmed.

The Los Angeles Times also spoke with 15-year-old Abel San Miguel, who hid in an art class storage closet during the Friday morning massacre. San Miguel revealed that over the course of murdering 10 people and wounding 13, Pagourtzis seemed almost gleeful. "Surprise!" the teenager recalled the killer yelling as he pulled open the closet door and shot a student in the chest. Student Trenton Beazely noticed similar disturbing behaviors. "He was playing music, making jokes, had slogans and rhymes he kept saying," Beazely told Good Morning America. 

Rodriguez's reveal about the troubling history her daughter had with the Santa Fe shooter and his gleeful demeanor that morning is disturbing to read, but it isn't necessarily shocking. Especially when you consider the fact that over half of mass shooters have a history of violence against their partners. Fisher and Pagourtzis may not have been in a relationship, but the knowledge that he was growing more aggressive toward her and may have targeted her because she rejected him is heartbreaking. "My heart is being ripped out," Rodriguez wrote in a Facebook post. "My baby is gone. I [can't] even go into her room." 

The Santa Fe High School shooting happened days ago, but there are still so many questions that have gone unanswered. Unfortunately, our hope of understanding what truly pushed the teenage boy to act so heinously may never be realized. But for parents like Sadie Rodriguez who lost her "shy and sweet" girl to his senseless acts of violence, it's important that we work hard to ensure that incidents like this stop happening. 

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