Texas School Shooting Claims Life Of A 17-Year Old Pakistan Exchange Student Among 9 Others, Including One Teacher

Posted by Sama in News On 19th May 2018

Another day in the US where a mass shooting at a public school claim the lives of innocent people and yet the US Government is unable to take any action. According to CNN, it is reportedly the third school shooting in eight days in the US and the 22nd so far this year. Back in February, a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students sparked a debate over strict gun control laws in the US but it seems like all the talks were in vain as only two months later another sad incident has occurred in Texas, Santa Fe High School. This incident which claimed the lives of over 10 people, one of which includes an exchange student from Pakistan, 17-year old Sabika Sheikh who was supposed to return to her home country by the end of this month is reportedly labelled as the fourth-deadliest attack at a US public school in history. Texas Governor Greg Abbott refers the shooting as "one of the most heinous attacks that have been seen in the history of Texas schools."


#1 Another Incident Of Mass Shooting In US Claims Life Of Over 10 People

Another incident of mass shooting occurs in the US, at Santa Fe High School, in south-east Houston, early on Friday morning. According to the eyewitnesses, the gunman, 17-year old student of the school opened fire in the art class with a shotgun and a pistol claiming lives of 10 people and injuring other 10 people.

After Florida school shooting this attack in the school is labelled as fourth-deadliest at a US public school in history.


#2 One Of The Victim Was A Pakistan Exchange Student, 17-Year Old Sabika Sheikh

Among the lives lost is one of a 17-year old Pakistan Exchange student Sabika Sheikh, who was attending Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme. Sabika Sheikh was due to return to her country by the end of May 2018. According to the teenager's parents, their daughter left for the program last year in August and this was her last month in the States. She messaged her family about her return soon.


#3 "We Are Still In A State Of Denial, We Can’t Believe It"

Sabika's father, a businessman by profession says their family is living a nightmare and are still in a state of denial, "We are still in a state of denial. We can’t believe it. It’s like a nightmare." According to Sabika's father he got the news of the incident while watching TV and in a state of panic he started calling his daughter but she never picked up his call. According to Mr Sheikh, his daughter always picks up his call and if not possible she always texts him back. But when he got no response he called the exchange programme and was confirmed about his daughter's death.

#4 YES Exchange Program Released An Official Statement

Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad programme (YES), would later send a letter to students in the project confirming that Sabika was killed in the shooting. In an official note released by the YES exchange program, it read, "It is with [the] greatest sadness in my heart that I need to inform you that one of our YES students, Sabika Sheikh of Pakistan, was killed today in the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. Please know that the YES program is devastated by this loss and we will remember Sabika and her families in our thoughts and prayers. We will have a moment of silence in her memory today."

Remembering his daughter, the heartbroken father says, his daughter was a hard working girl who aspired to become a civil servant and wanted to join Foreign Services. Mr Sheikh says he thought his daughter would be safe in the US, but unfortunately he was highly mistaken.


#5 Substitute Teacher Ann Perkins Was Also An Unfortunate Victim Of The Attack

Other victims identified in the incident are substitute teacher Ann Perkins, as well as students Aaron Kyle McLeod, Angelique Ramirez, Chris Stone, Jared Conard Black and Kimberly Jessica Vaughan. In a statement released by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "Sabika’s death and that of the other victims is heartbreaking and will be mourned deeply both here in the United States, and in Pakistan."

#6 Shooter Also Had Explosives Hidden In The School

The suspected shooter 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis is now being held under the charges of murder without bond in the Galveston County jail on charges of capital murder, according to Henry Trochesset, county sheriff. According to Governor Greg Abbott, the shooter also had explosive devices that were found in the school and nearby.