An exchange student from Pakistan was one of eight students that were killed during a shooting at Santa Fe High School in May, and now her parents are suing the accused suspect’s parents.
Sabika Sheikh was killed in the shooting that took the lives of eight students, as well as two substitute teachers, and injured 13 other people. Dimitrios Pagourtsiz is accused of the shooting. The lawsuit was filed days before Sheikh’s 18th birthday on December 1st. Her cousin, Shaheera Albasit, says that this is their gift to her. Her cousin says that they were raised together in the same house and their relationship was more sisterly instead of just cousins. She was the one who accompanied Sheikh’s body back to Pakistan.
The lawsuit claims that the parents of the shooter, Antonio Pagourtzis and Rose Marie Kosmetatos, ignored warning signs and were neglectful in storing the weapons used in the shooting by their son. The attorney for the parents, Ron Rodgers, released a statement that said his clients are heartbroken about the event and the loss of Sheikh, as well as the other victims, and it may be natural to place blame, but the accusations against his clients are untrue and inaccurate. He says that the process must continue, but that he is confident that his clients weren’t negligent and couldn’t have predicted the unfortunate events.
Sheikh’s parents are not the only ones involved in the lawsuit, as the suit includes two other families with children also killed during the shooting.
Sheikh was only three weeks away from coming home to her native Pakistan and she has spent a year in studying abroad. Her parents are hoping to create a foundation that can be used to help promote her diplomacy ideals and continue her legacy as the best way to keep her alive. They also say that other parents shouldn’t have to feel this grief.
The shooting took place on May 18th and authorities say that the gunman was armed with a revolver and a shotgun. There were also explosive devices found. The gunman is currently in custody for murder charges and his lawyer says the trial is supposed to start next year.