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Pakistani exchange student among Texas school shooting victims

22 May 2018

Stone was outgoing, "really funny" and had a lot of friends, said Branden Auzston, a 17-year-old junior at Santa Fe High.

Instead, he learned that his oldest child was among those killed in the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, where Sabika arrived as an exchange student last August.

"I always told her, 'Sabika, you have a warrior's heart.' She wanted to be a business woman who wanted to impact the world", said Joleen Cogburn, the teen's host mother.

Jaelyn told the mourners that she had been homeschooled up until this year and when she enrolled at Santa Fe High School, Sabika, who had yet to move into the Cogburn home, was the first friend she made.

"She helped me put it on, she helped fix my hair", Olinde said through tears.

However, Sheikh said people in the United States should consider that "guns are taking lives of their kids".

Sheikh was an A-levels student and was expected to return to home on the 9th of June. She was the first one who called us mom and dad.

Jared's half brother said he wished he could see him one more time.

Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program, sent a letter to other students in the program confirming that Sabika was killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School. Sabika left her family in Pakistan last August through a study overseas program run by the state department.

Our heartfelt sympathies are with all the families who lost their loved ones in the brutal firing incident at a school in Houston.

The deceased's father, saying that he still can not believe that his daughter is no more, shared that Sabika was a genius girl who used to achieve excellent grades always. "I want this to become a base on which the people over there can stand and pass a law to deal with this".

Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018.

"She doesn't have any family here, but she has all of us and this whole community that is mourning", said M.J. Khan, president of the society.

She had been staying with a host family in the Santa Fe area.

She said Tisdale was married to her husband for close to 40 years and that the two had three children and eight grandchildren.

"We never know when our death will come", he wrote.

"On the second day of Ramadan she called and said Baba (Urdu for papa)".

Auzston's mother, Nicole Auzston, described Stone as a part of her family.

"We were on the ground, all piled up in random positions", he said. They even fasted with her to support her during this holy month of Ramadan.

Sabika's funeral was the first of more to come. Islamist militants who view the country's education system as un-Islamic have targeted hundreds of schools over the past decade, with the deadliest attack coming in 2014, when gunmen killed more than 140 people, mostly students, at an army-run school in the northern city of Peshawar.

Family members confirmed that substitute teacher Cynthia Tisdale was among the victims killed in the shooting.

All their names were read at Sabika's funeral. "We are still in a state of denial".

The wave of terrorism has swiftly reached the U.S., which is believed to be a safest country.

Father Abdul Aziz Sheikh told the Associated Press in Karachi he could not believe what had happened. "She was literally like a daughter to us". "Such incidents should not make people lose heart... and one should not stop going to the US or United Kingdom or China or anywhere", said Aziz. It provides scholarships for secondary-school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in the U.S. One must go for education undeterred.

"We can't just give up education due to such incidents, but the time has come for the U.S. government to bring in tough laws for control on guns, which are taking more and more students' lives", he said.

Pakistani exchange student among Texas school shooting victims