Pakistani exchange student among victims of Texas school shooting


SANTA FE, TEXAS: A foreign exchange student from Pakistan, Sabika Sheikh was among the first confirmed victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school.
Among those injured include a school resource officer and a sophomore baseball player.

Seventeen-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis was being held on a capital murder charge after authorities said he fatally shot 10 people and wounded at least 10 others at his high school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.

Sabika Sheikh succumbed to her wounds, according to a leader at a program for foreign exchange students and the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C. Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program (YES), sent a letter to students in the program confirming that Sabika was killed in the shooting.

“Please know that the YES program is devastated by this loss and we will remember Sabika and her families in our thoughts and prayers,” Lysaght wrote.

She said the program would be holding a moment of silence for the girl, who is pictured beaming in a shirt that says “Texas” in a photo being shared on social media.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C., identified Sabika as a victim of the shooting on Twitter and wrote that “our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends.”

The tweets read, ” Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has expressed heartfelt condolences for the victims of the tragic incident at the Santa Fe High School in Texas this morning. Among the victims was Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student. Our Consul General in Houston is in touch with the authorities concerned to ascertain facts.”



The Pakistan Association of Greater Houston said on Facebook that Sabika was due to go back home to Pakistan for Eid Al-Fitr, a three-day holiday that marks the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

“May Allah bless her soul and may she RIP,” the statement said.

Students informed authorities that a gunman — later identified by law enforcement agencies as Pagourtzis — opened fire in a classroom at Santa Fe High School shortly before 8 AM CT (1300 GMT) on Friday and that they fled in panic after seeing classmates wounded and a fire alarm triggered a full evacuation.

Texas 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”.