The signs of dark, violent fantasies were ubiquitous in the social persona and private ramblings of Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a shaggy-haired, 17-year-old junior charged with killing nine classmates and a teacher’s aide and injuring many others at his high school in Santa Fe, a working class suburb 35 miles south of Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. He posted a photo on Facebook of a “born to kill” T-shirt and wrote in a journal about shooting people and committing suicide. His Facebook cover photo comes from an album called “Dangerous Days” by a dystopian cyberpunk band called Pertubator with a track that took on a haunting quality: “Humans Are Such Easy Prey.”
The pathology behind his rampage may be studied for years. In the grim aftermath of another gruesome mass shooting, his rage-filled impulses could have signaled serious trouble, if only someone knew to take them seriously or pay attention in a social media world full of vitriolic impulses. In the clarity of hindsight, the clues seem to be there in every school massacre, said Ron Avi Astor, a school shooting expert at the University of Southern California. “On the whole, there are a series of things, it’s not just one thing. Things written on social media or diaries. Sometimes there are things written for classes. And almost always the student talks to other students or a teacher — and the group doesn’t quite know what to do with it.” Pagourtzis’ followed sites like daily.gunz, which features glamour shots of people holding firearms, on Instagram. He also posted a photo of a long, military-style “duster” on his now-defunct Facebook page. Pinned on the duster’s collar: the same red star medallion worn by Dylan Klebold, a shooter at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999.