Pakistani exchange student among ten killed in Texas school shooting

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By Muhammad Luqman

Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student was among the ten killed in the school shooting in American city of Santa Fe on Friday.

Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington DC, confirmed through Twitter that Sheikh was among the high school students killed. Pakistani ambassador to the US, Aizaz Chaudhry expressed his heartfelt condolences for the victims of the tragic incident.

A resident of an upscale locality of port city of  Karachi, was the eldest of three sisters. She had completed her secondary education at Karachi Public School.

The 17 years old  was studying in the US under the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme since August 21, 2017.

“It is still so very hard to believe that [Sabika is dead],” her father Abdul Aziz Sheikh was quoted by Pakistani media “Sabika was scheduled to return Pakistan  on June 9.”

Her body is expected to be flown to Pakistan on Monday or Tuesday, according to family sources.

Ten people, mostly students, were killed when a 17-year-old classmate armed with a shotgun and a revolver opened fire in a Texas high school on Friday, in the latest deadly school shooting to hit the United States.

The gunman, who was arrested on murder charges, was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old junior at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.

According to US media, Texas Governor  Greg Abbott said 10 people died and another 10 were wounded in what he called “one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools.”

Abbott said the gunman apparently carried out the attack with a shotgun and a .38 revolver that were legally owned by his father.

The newspaper Houston Chronicle said Pagourtzis also threw pipe bombs into a classroom at the start of the school day.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the “majority” of the victims were students. “Officers inside encountered a bloody mess in the school,” a law enforcement official told the Houston Chronicle.

The shooting was the latest in what has become an all-too-familiar situation in American schools, where gun violence has become a part of everyday life.

Earlier this year, 17 people were killed at a Florida high school — a massacre that prompted survivors to launch a grassroots campaign against gun violence.

It was the second mass shooting in Texas in six months.  Twenty-six people were killed in a Texas church in November 2017 by a 26-year-old Air Force veteran, US media reported.

The Santa Fe shooting came three months after the massacre at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, which sparked a student-led movement for tighter gun laws.

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