SANTA FE, Texas – A civil lawsuit filed against the parents of the charged Santa Fe gunman is set for a May trial. A Galveston County judge also ordered both sides to go through mediation prior to the May 28 trial date.
This lawsuit was filed shortly after eight students and two teachers were murdered during the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in 2018. The case has wound through the courts for the last several years and withstood attempts to have it dismissed.
“You can give me a billion dollars, it’s not going to bring my son back but I can help save somebody else’s son and daughter in the next school shooting, that’s all what our purpose is,” said Rosie Yanas Stone, whose son, Chris, was killed during the mass shooting.
Several family members of those killed or wounded during the rampage are hoping to hold the parents of Dimitrios Pagourtzis accountable for not preventing their son from accessing the weapons used during the mass shooting and not doing more to address his mental health issues.
“Recognizing that mistakes were made that could have prevented this from occurring and accepting responsibility for this. That’s what this case is about,” said Clint McGuire, an attorney for the families. “Accountability is the resolution these parents are after.”
The criminal case against Pagourtzis remains in limbo because he remains incompetent to stand trial. Many of the families see the civil case as a path to justice for their loved ones. McGuire said the criminal case not going to trial has slowed progress in gathering information for the civil case. He said they are still seeking to depose Rose Marie Kosmetatos and Antonios Pagourtzis.
“We have not received any justice through our legal system,” said Flo Rice, who was critically wounded during the mass shooting.
Family members of the Santa Fe victims said they are especially hopeful after seeing the mother of the Oxford, Michigan school shooter found culpable for her son’s actions.
“Seeing that four families got accountability in Oxford, that’s an amazing thing, that’s never been done before,” Stone said.
During Thursday’s hearing the attorney representing Pagourtzis’ parents, Ron Rodgers, told the judge he is withdrawing from the case.