Pakistani student, Sabika, among 10 killed in Texas school firing

  • Sabika Sheikh was studying at Santa Fe High School under the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme since August 2017.
Pakistan

SANTA FE – In the latest school shooting incident in the United States, at least ten people including a Pakistani exchange student were killed after a teenage classmate opened fire in a Texas high school.

The attacker, who was armed with a shotgun and a revolver, identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a student of the Santa Fe High School. Police have arrested Pagurtziz on capital murder charges under which he could be awarded death penalty.

Governor Greg Abbott said 10 people died and another 10 were wounded in “one of the most heinous attacks that we´ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools.” All the deceased identified as nine students and one tutor.

The Pakistani student identified as Sabika Sheikh who was studying at the school under the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme since August 2017.

In a letter sent to the YES programme students, Megan Lysaght, the program manager (Inbound) at American Councils for International Education, wrote: “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.”

Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC confirmed the death of the Sabina in the deadly shooting through a tweet.

Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, “expressed heartfelt condolences for the victims of the tragic incident.”

Sabika Left Family in Tears

Father of the Pakistani student named Abdul Aziz, who lives in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, said that Sabika was due to come back to Pakistan on June 9, saying, “We all were waiting for her return passionately”. Aziz said that his deceased daughter was eldest among three sisters.

He further said that terrorist attacks can happen anywhere and such inhumane act should be condemned.

A brother of Sabika said that his sister loved everyone and was ready to return home.

Donald Trump Reaction

US President Donald Trump in a tweet expressed grief over the terrible loss of life. He said, “We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School – we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever”.

“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others,” Trump said at the White House.

In February, a deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school killed seventeen teens and educators, a carnage that stirred the nation’s long-running debate over gun ownership.

Days after the Parkland massacre, the US president hinted at changing the laws regarding weapons. He had said that elected officials should be ready to “fight” the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group. Early this month he warned the group, saying, “your Second Amendment rights are under siege.”

The Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects the right to bear arms. However, no any major action has been taken in the wake of federal gun control since the Parkland shooting.

Condolence Pour in for Sabika on Twitter