Ten students, including a Pakistani girl Sabika Sheikh, were killed in a mass shooting when a student armed with a shotgun and revolver opened fire at Santa Fe high school in Texas on Friday.
Sabika Sheikh, resident of Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area, was part of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme for her stay in the US and had to return home in June. She was among 75 Pakistani students who were selected to study abroad under the scholarship programme.
Megan Lysaght, the manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad, made the announcement in a letter to members of the program.
“It is with great 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,” she wrote.
“Please know that the YES program is devastated by this loss and we will remember Sabika and her families (sic) in our thoughts and prayers.”
While Sabika’s untimely death has drawn attention of the Muslim community from all over the world, her family members are deeply aggrieved.
Sabika was the eldest child of her parents, she has two younger sisters.
The deceased’s father, saying that he still cannot believe that his daughter is no more, shared that Sabika was a genius girl who used to achieve excellent grades always.
Sabika’s dead body will return to Pakistan by Monday, reported sources.
Moreover, the gunman, who was taken into custody on murder charges post the attack, was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old junior at Santa Fe High School.
Texas governor Greg Abbott said searches were consequently conducted at two residences and “various explosive devices” were found including a “CO2 device” and a Molotov cocktail.
He further said journal entries by the gunman suggested he wanted to commit suicide but “he gave himself up.”
Abbott also stated that the shooter carried out the attack with a shotgun and a .38 revolver that belonged to his father who is an active member of the US’ National Rifle Association.
According to sources, Dimitrios is the eldest among his siblings.