We will be there to support you and we want gun reform now. Those are the urgent messages from Parkland students and parents to the victims of the Santa Fe High School Shooting May 18.
Update 11:50 AM ET May 21: Dimtrios Pagourtzis’ family released the following statement:
“We are saddened and dismayed by yesterday’s events at Santa Fe High School. We extend our most heartfelt prayers and condolences to all of the victims. We also wish to thank all the first responders from all over Texas that assisted in rendering aid and support.
We are as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events that occurred. We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy. While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday’s tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love.
We share the public’s hunger for answers as to why this happened, and will await the outcome of the investigation before speaking about these events. We have been and will continue to cooperate with the authorities conducting the investigation, and ask for the public’s patience while it moves forward.
We ask the public to please extend privacy, both to the victims and to our own family, as all of us try process these events, and begin the healing process.
The Pagourtzis Family”
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, know all too well what the students at Santa Fe High School are going through right now. Nine students and one faculty member are dead at the Texas high school after a 17-year-old student, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, opened fire on campus on May 18. Police reported that the suspect also had pipe bombs on campus that thankfully didn’t detonate. Many of the Parkland student who have become outspoken gun control advocates in the wake of their massacre, like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, reached out on Twitter to express their condolences and demand politicians do something.
Emma wrote on Twitter: “Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices.” Amen!
David’s message was targeted at the politicians who will only offer their thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families, and not move any legislation forward: “Get ready for two weeks of media coverage of politicians acting like they give a shit when in reality they just want to boost their approval ratings before midterms.”
Cameron Kasky, the founder of the March For Our Lives, wrote, “At least 8 students have been shot and killed at Santa Fe High School. Prepare to watch the NRA boast about getting higher donations. Prepare to see students rise up and be called ‘civil terrorists’ and crisis actors. Prepare for the right-wing media to attack the survivors.” March For Our Lives also released a statement about Santa Fe — read that below.
“Hoping things get better. Hoping things can change. Don’t tell me that there isn’t a shooting problem in this country. The perpetuating gun violence we face is ridiculous,” wrote MSD student Alex Wind. “Stay safe everyone. you do not deserve this; nobody deserves this. We are here for you. America is here for you.
#NeverAgain #SantaFeHighSchool… Politics aside, how many more have to die before we can change?”, wrote student Ryan Deitsch.
Student Delaney Tarr wrote, “I should be celebrating my last day of high school, but instead my heart is broken to hear of the tragedy at Santa Fe. We cannot let this continue to be the norm. We cannot.” Classmate Jaclyn Corin said, “Our children are being MURDERED and you’re treating this like a game. This is the 22nd school shooting just this year. DO SOMETHING.”
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) May 18, 2018
Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices.
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) May 18, 2018
Fred Guttenberg lost his daughter in the massacre at MSD, which claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members total. He tweeted, “This has been my fear since February 14th, that another mass casualty shooting would happen before we did anything. Now, we have 8 more children dead and our leadership in Washington has done nothing. We do not need thoughts and prayers, we need action and we need it now.”
Our thoughts are with the families, victims, and survivors at Santa Fe high, and for all of those in Parkland that have to relive these painful memories on their last day of the semester.