One of the 10 people killed by Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17 year-old student, at a Sante Fe, Texas high school was a girl who reportedly rejected his repeated advances.
The shooter went into his high school on Friday morning and allegedly used his father’s shotgun and .38 revolver to shoot at students and teachers. Pagourtzis is in custody. He wore a T-shirt that read “Born to Kill” as he shot his classmates, according to a student who spoke to The New York Times.
Sadie Rodriguez, a mother of one of the victims, Shana Fisher, said that the shooter approached her daughter in class. Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times that Fisher “had four months of problems from this boy” and “he kept making advances on her, and she repeatedly told him no.”
She said the the boy became more and more aggressive, according to The Times, which wrote that he “continued to get more aggressive, and she finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class” a week before the shooting.
Rodriguez claims she was the first victim, although The Times notes that she didn’t say how she knew this was the case.
It isn’t unusual for men who commit mass shootings to have some history of online misogyny and violence against girls and women, and there are countless examples.
Alek Minassian killed 10 people and wounded 14, most of them women, in Toronto after he drove a van down a busy street. He identified with a group of people who identify themselves as “incels,” men who display a hatred for women and identify themselves as victims because women they find attractive won’t sleep with them. He posted on Facebook, “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
Elliot Rodger is revered as a hero by these misogynists. In 2014, he began what he called a “Day of Retribution.” He killed six people and injured 14 people. He created a video about waging a “war on women” and said, “I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex.”
Regardless of whether men who commit mass shootings relate to “incels” and other groups of misogynists who organize online, they certainly have a record of harassment and violence against girls and women. Nikolas Cruz, the teenager who killed 17 people at the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, reportedly threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend. He was expelled after he started fights with the boy she was currently dating, according to the New York Post.
A student told The Post, “He stalked her and threatened her. He was like, ‘I’m going to kill you,’ and he would say awful things to her and harass her to the point I would walk her to the bus just to make sure she was OK.”
James Alex Fields Jr. who drove his car into a crowd of people at the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and killed Heather Heyer, reportedly abused his mother. James T. Hodgkinson, who shot at GOP members of Congress during practice for their annual baseball game last year, was also seen throwing his daughter around a bedroom when she refused to leave the house with him and assaulted a woman in 2006.
Esteban Santiago, who killed five people at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last year, had a record of domestic violence. Cedric Anderson shot his wife and one of her students at an elementary school and had a history of domestic abuse. Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people of an Orlando nightclub, was also violent toward his ex-wife, and reportedly held her hostage once. A coworker told NBC News, “He had anger management issues. Something would set him off, but the things that would set him off were always women, race or religion.” Robert Dear, the man who shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015 and killed three people had a history of violence against women.
In fact, the majority of mass shootings involved domestic violence, according to Everytown for Gun Safety’s data that looked at mass shootings from 2009 to 2016. During that same period, there were 1,187 victims of mass shootings and 848 of those victims died. In domestic violence-related incidents, 422 people died and more than 40 percent of them were children.