Accused Santa Fe High School shooter to remain at Texas state hospital

A man accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Texas high school in 2018 will continue receiving treatment in a state mental health facility as doctors say he remains incompetent to stand trial.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 21, has been at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon since early December 2019. He was initially committed for 120 days. But he has remained at the hospital since because doctors say he is not competent to be tried.


On Friday, Judge John Ellisor ordered that Pagourtzis stay another 12 months at the facility. It was the third time Ellisor ordered that Pagourtzis remain at the hospital for a 12-month period.

Pagourtzis’ attorney, Nicholas Poehl, said he was not surprised by the judge’s decision.

"We remain hopeful that the case will be resolved at some point in the future, whether that involves trial, or a civil commitment which feels increasingly inevitable," Poehl said in a statement.

The issue of Pagourtzis’ competency relates to his current state of mind and not his state of mind at the time of the shooting, Poehl has said.

In a statement, Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady said his office shares the frustration of the victims’ families at the continued delay. "We remain committed to seeing this case tried and seeing that justice is done," Roady said.

Pagourtzis is charged with capital murder for the attack at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018, when he was a student at the school. It is about 50 miles southeast of Houston. Because he was 17 at the time of the attack, he is not eligible for the death penalty.

Pagourtzis also faces federal charges in a sealed criminal case.

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