Yesterday, there was another school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. I could sit here and talk about the horrors of these children dying or discuss the finer points of firearms policy.
But I am not going to do that.
Instead, I want to use this space to pay tribute to the victims.
The young people who lost their lives yesterday are the ones who deserve all the attention right now.
Not politicians, and certainly not the shooter.
So, courtesy of CBS News, below is a list of the victims of yesterday’s shooting. I encourage you to read their stories, weep for the loss of their lives, and then donate to a charity of your choice in their names.
It is the least we can do to honor their memories.
The Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed that exchange student Sabika Sheikh was killed in the shooting. Sabika was an exchange student with YES, which is funded by the U.S. State Department. It provides scholarships for secondary school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in the U.S.
Substitute teacher Ann Perkins was killed in the shooting. According to those who knew her, she was a beloved teacher and was well-loved in the community, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth reports.
Students and other members of the Santa Fe community posted tributes to “Grandma Perkins,” as they referred to her.
Family members described Angelique Ramirez as “busting at the seams with energy and laughter. Vivacious” to CBS Houston affiliate KHOU.
“She had so much ahead of her,” the family said. “CREATIVE beyond belief! She was a magnificent caretaker and a staple in her family. She stood up for what was right and made friends with anyone she saw as a good soul. A beautiful child finding her way and hopeful for her future. Beyond her years”
Angelique’s aunt posted on Facebook that she has a “broken heart and a soul.”
Shana Fisher’s aunt posted on Twitter that Shana was in the art room at the time of the shooting.
Kimberly Vaughan was in art class when shots rang out Friday morning, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports. Her mother, Rhonda Hart, posted on Facebook that her daughter was one of the victims. “She is in heaven,” Hart said. “I am heartbroken.”
Chris Stone was a junior at Santa Fe High School. His sister said he was shot and killed in his first period art class, KHOU-TV reports.
Cynthia Tisdale was a full-time substitute teacher at the high school. Her niece Leia Olinde said Tisdale was like a mother to her and helped her shop for wedding dresses last year, KHOU-TV reports.
She said Tisdale was married to her husband for nearly 40 years and had three children and eight grandchildren. She said she “never met a woman who loved her family so much.”
Her brother-in-law John Tisdale said she left her husband a note before she left for school Friday morning. It read: Had to go meet teacher. I love you. Hope you feel better today. Love, mom. Left you breakfast.”
Christian “Riley” Garcia
Christian “Riley” Garcia was a 15-year-old who was remembered by his church in a Facebook post. Keenan Smith, a lead pastor at Crosby Church, mourned him early Saturday.
“He has grown up in our church, I baptized him many (years) ago. I just left his wonderful, loving family and extended all of the prayers and love for them from our Church,” Smith wrote along with a picture of Garcia taken nearly ten days ago. “Riley you are greatly loved and greatly missed. Please continue to lift up this family and all the other in your prayers.”
Jared Conard Black
Jared Conard Black was a student at Santa Fe High School. His uncle told KTRK-TV that Jared celebrated his 17th birthday just two days before the shooting.”