As more information comes to light about the Santa Fe High School shooter and the events leading up to his murderous rampage, which left ten people dead and a dozen others injured, a consistent picture has emerged of a deeply troubled young man who exhibited signs that he could one day snap.
The shooter appears to have deliberately targeted one of the girl victims, Shana Fisher, 16, because she rejected his repeated advances. In a heartbreaking interview with the Daily Mail, Shana's devastated father said she told her family about the shooter having attempted to come onto her for some four months before she told him assertively to stop. About two weeks later, he appeared on campus armed with a handgun and shotgun. According to the evidence, Shana may have been his primary target.
"If he kills me, I'll haunt him forever," Shana reportedly told her family just two weeks before he shot her "point-blank" in the face. After murdering Shana, the shooter went on to kill seven other students and two teachers.
"Shana told her mother two weeks ago he was going to come and kill her," her father Timothy Thomas, 41, told the Daily Mail in an interview. After four months of the troubled teen pestering her about going on a date with him, Shana finally told him to "cut it out," said Thomas.
"He had told her himself he was going to kill her," said her grief-stricken father. "He was walking around planning this in his head for two weeks."
"Shana said that if he came into the school with a gun and killed her she would haunt him for the rest of his life," he said. "She was really scared."
The Daily Mail notes that the family's account appears to be the first indication of the motive for his murderous actions, "though the theory has yet to be confirmed by either prosecutors or lawyers for the accused gunman."
Thomas, who divorced Shana's mother, Sadie Rodriguez, 13 years ago and has since remarried, told the Daily Mail that he had recently reconnected with Shana and was delighted to see that she had grown into a "beautiful, smart" young woman.
"What kind of a person thinks the appropriate response is to kill her and a class full of people. It's insane that my daughter was picked out as the one," he said. "She was a beautiful girl, someone full of light. She was real timid, she never talked bad to me or anyone else, but I know she finally stood up to him before this happened and told him to cut it out."
Though Thomas is devastated, he said he does not want the "messed up" teen to face the death penalty and said that he was praying for him.
"I don't understand it but I know he had some serious problems," he said, overcome with emotion. "I believe in forgiveness. I'm praying for him as well as for my daughter. I'm not a judge or a jury. I wouldn't want to wish death on anyone. I have faith in the system. I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus. I believe my daughter has moved from here to heaven; those thoughts are what's keeping me going.
"What I have a problem with is that none of these teachers or counselors saw this coming," he continued. "If they are smart enough to teach our kids, they should be smart enough to see when something is badly wrong with someone. And how can they see a boy in a heavy trench coat walking into a hallway in 100F heat and not think something's up with that? I believe that all these school shootings would be avoidable if the teachers paid attention to their students."
Meanwhile, the family of the shooter has reportedly fled their home since he was first identified, and their current location is unknown.
The Daily Mail also spoke with a neighbor of the troubled young man who knew him since he was just a boy. The neighbor described him as a loner who was "difficult" to deal with. "Honestly he seemed a quiet, nice kid but obviously he had his demons," the neighbor said.