Rhonda Hart's 14-year-old daughter, Kim, was murdered in her art classroom inside of Santa Fe High School.
Right: Kim wearing her Girl Scouts sash in fall 2016
Image provided by Rhonda Hart

On Friday, May 18th, 2018, a school shooting left eight students and two teachers dead in the small, tight-knit community of Santa Fe, Texas. The shooter, seventeen-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was able to sneak two guns, which were legally owned by his father, into the school under a long trench coat.

    The shooting happened at 7:40 a.m. in the school's art complex, a maze of four rooms, each connected via interior hallways, making it difficult for school resource officers and first responders to respond. According to a witness, students barricaded themselves in a closet, but Pagourtzis shot through the door. Others ran between the four rooms, while some barricaded their doors. Survivors and their families describe a horrifying scene inside, with the shooter taunting his victims and those he held hostage.

    The attack seemed to have been planned, as investigators also found [ineffective] explosives on site, as well as details in Pagourtzis’ journals and on his computer.  It is also believed he targeted students he disliked. Investigators also believe the shooter planned to commit suicide during the  attack. However, after wounding a school resource officer, the shooter, surrendered to Santa Fe police officers. He is currently awaiting trial.

When it was over, thirteen people were injured and ten dead, including “two teachers, Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale, along with Shana Fisher and seven of her classmates: Kimberly Vaughan, Angelique Ramirez, Christian Riley Garcia, Jared Black, Christopher Jake Stone, Aaron Kyle McLeod and Sabika Sheikh, an exchange student from Pakistan.”5