Civil suit against Santa Fe HS shooter's parents makes way to court docket 6 years after tragedy

Mycah Hatfield Image
Friday, February 9, 2024
Trial date set for civil suit against Santa Fe HS shooter's parents
Trial date set for civil suit against Santa Fe HS shooter's parents

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Galveston County judge set a trial date in the civil lawsuit filed by victims' families and survivors of the Santa Fe High School shooting against the alleged shooter's parents.

A civil suit was filed in 2018 against Antonios Pagourtizis and Rose Marie Kosmetatos, alleging that they failed to secure their weapons properly and allowed their son, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, access to them. It also claims the parents did not get him the mental health counseling and services he needed.

RELATED: Timeline: How the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School unfolded

"Had the murderer not had available to him the weapons for his carnage, his black rage might well have continued to simmer within," the lawsuit reads.

Judge Jack Ewing set a pre-trial conference for May 17, and the trial is to begin on May 28.

"We've waited long enough for this, and so going forward is the key here," Rosie Yanas said. Yanas' son, Christopher Stone, was killed in the shooting.

Setting a trial date was welcomed by the victims' families and surviving victims who were present in court on Thursday.

The announcement came less than two weeks after Pagourtzis was once again found incompetent to stand trial in his criminal case.

Clint McGuire has represented the plaintiffs since the beginning of the suit. He said the fact that the criminal side has not moved forward has made things more difficult on the civil side.

RELATED: Nearly 6 years after Santa Fe HS shooting, suspect still incompetent to stand trial, DA says

"In a criminal case, they have the ability to gather information that we don't have access to, and we've tried to get that information, and because there's an ongoing investigation, we don't have access to that," McGuire said. "So, of course, that makes it much more difficult than if the criminal case had gone to trial and concluded."

Yanas said they are not after money in this case but are more concerned with bringing about change.

"You could give me $1 billion," Yanas said. "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 what our purpose is. Money is not going to save them, so all we really want is change."

The attorney for the alleged shooter's parents said in court today that he intended to withdraw as counsel but did not provide a reason. The judge indicated that the attorney made him aware of that during a December hearing but had not filed the paperwork.

Judge Ewing urged the attorney to file the motion to withdraw quickly as the trial is set for the end of May.

Earlier in the week, Jennifer Crumbly, whose son shot and killed four people at Oxford High School in Michigan in 2021, was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the shooting.

RELATED: Jennifer Crumbley trial: Jury finds Crumbley guilty on all counts in manslaughter trial

Yanas said she followed along with the case.

"Seeing that four families got accountability in Oxford, that's an amazing thing," Yanas said. "That's never been done before."

She said she hopes it becomes a precedence in school shootings.

Pagourtizis' parents were not charged. McGuire said they will not be charged criminally in this case.

"To criminally charge the parents, the child had to have been under the age of 17, so the passage of time in this case isn't going to change the criminal component of this," McGuire explained.

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