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Santa Fe shooting suspect's attorney says not to rush to judgment

Nicholas Poehl, the shooting suspect's attorney, spoke to Dimitrios Pagourtzis' family and they said they didn't expect this from their son. Poehl said the suspect's schoolmates described him as "a sweet kid, nice kid, kind of quiet."

KEMAH, TX – The family of the Santa Fe High School shooting suspect said in a statement Saturday they remained “mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday’s tragedy,” and the events were “incompatible” with the son they love.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is accused of killing 10 people and injuring 10 others Friday morning.

One of Pagourtzis’ two defense attorneys hired by the family spoke to KHOU11.

“They (family) expressed complete surprise,” said Nicholas Poehl, “mystified is a good word to use.”

Poehl said the suspect’s schoolmates described him as “a sweet kid, nice kid, kind of quiet.”

“Nobody they would expect something like this from,” Poehl told KHOU11. “You can be the best parent in the world, these things can still happen.”

“Of course they love their son,” Poehl added. “They didn’t expect this. They’re waiting for answers from the discovery process just as everybody else is.”

The courts, the prosecution and the defense will try to understand what happened and why. Part of that process, according to Poehl is a mental health evaluation. Poehl told KHOU11 he expected his client to undergo several.

“I think any time you have an incident like this, it’s obviously something you look at,” he said.

Court records say the suspected shooter admitted to mass murder.

“I don’t know if he realizes what he told the police,” Poehl said. “I don’t know if he realizes what happened.”

Poehl said people need to not rush to judgement as so many people involved in case are trying to get answers.

“To anybody who says they must have known, I think that’s irresponsible,” Poehl said. “I think that’s a rush to judgement. We’re gonna get answers. The family has faith in the professionals conducting that investigation, there will be answers down the road and then we’ll know.”

Poehl said he didn’t expect the teen in court until early next week.

He expected to ask for bond, but wasn’t prepared to tell KHOU11 how he would justify asking for one for a person accused of killing 10 people.

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