Several Santa Fe, TX, families have joined a lawsuit against the parents of a teenager accused of killing ten people at an area high school in May.
The parents of Chris Stone, reports Click2Houston.com, were the first to file a suit against the parents of Dimitrios Pagourtzis, accusing them of gross negligence for allowing their son access to a .38 caliber handgun and sawed-off shotgun.
Since the complaint was filed, several other families have joined in, including those of victims Aaron McLeod, Christian Garcia and Jared Black.
“The families are united in their desire to hold the shooter’s parents accountable for this tragedy and want every parent of a troubled child to get that troubled child the help he/she needs and to safeguard their guns from that child,” said attorney Clint McGuire.
Mark and Gail McLeod’s suit against the shooter’s parents, filed in Galveston County near May’s end, is explicit in its accusations. Referring to Pagourtzis as ‘Murderer,’ the complaint demands financial redress from his parents.
The McLeods say mother and father Rosie Marie Kosmetatos and Antonios Pagourtzis were ‘negligent’ on several counts, including:
‘a) Properly failing to secure their weapons;
- b) Permitting Murderer Dimitrios Pagourtzis to have access to their weapons and ammunition;
- c) Failing to obtain mental health counseling and services for Murderer Dimitrios Pagourtzis;
- d) Failing to properly warn the public of Murderer Dimitrios Pagourtzis’ dangerous propensities; and
- e) Negligently entrusting their weapons to Murderer Dimitrios Pagourtzis.’
Surprisingly—in light of the explicit condemnations of Pagourtzis’ parents—few who knew the shooter said he ever exhibited unusual or violent tendencies.
“At this point, from everything we know, it doesn’t appear like this kid had the kind of warning signs of someone that you would normally associate with someone involved in something like this,” said attorney Nicholas Poehl, one of Pagourtzis’ attorneys.
Several of the shooter’s classmates, including student Aidan Gomez, described Pagourtzis as a “quiet kid” who never came across as anything other than unsociable.
“I didn’t think he was that kind of kid,” said Gomez, who was surprised to learn Pagourtzis is suspected of killing 10 people and injuring another 13.
Nevertheless, the victims’ parents accuse Pagourtzis’ mother and father of having “utterly failed to teach their son any respect for life whatsoever.” The plaintiffs are hoping to obtain close to $1 million in damages for pain, suffering and mental anguish, in a lawsuit they say isn’t about the money but deterrence.
“No amount of money can fill the empty hole I have in my chest I have to live with everyday that only my brother could fill,” said Angelica Stone, sister of Chris Stone, in a Facebook post. “We’d trade all the money in the world to have him back.”
“This has EVERYTHING to do with starting a change,” she continued. “And we believe change starts with the parents being more responsible with their weapons and knowing what their children are doing.”
The McLeods’ suit did not describe how Pagourtzis’ parents may have been aware of their son’s ‘murderous tendencies’ or have had the foresight to ‘warn the public’ of such.