On May 18th, 2018, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire on the Santa Fe High School campus, killing 10 people and leaving 10 others wounded. Many of the victims were his own classmates. Ultimately, Pagourtzis surrendered after being injured during the shooting and was taken into custody. Prior to the shooting, the suspect had exhibited several warning signs, including posting a picture of a “Born to Kill” t-shirt on his Facebook page, as well as posting the words “Hammer and Sickle=Rebellion. Rising Sun=Kamikaze Tactics. Iron Cross=Bravery. Baphomet=Evil”. 

Since the shooting, rather than pushing to advocate for stricter gun laws, many residents of Santa Fe chose to focus on discussing ways in which such events could be prevented in the future. They formed initiatives that were designed to help strengthen mental health services. Annabelle O’Day, a student from the high school assisted in starting Hearts United for Kindness, a nonprofit that seeks to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health. Another student lobbied to transform a 1.5-acre park into a therapeutic garden for those who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The school district also increased the security around the school district, as well as creating a crisis support hotline for the Santa Fe community.