The latest: Santa Fe seniors attend baccalaureate service


The Latest on the Texas school shooting (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

Santa Fe High School’s seniors are marking the end of their graduating year with a baccalaureate service two days after a gunman killed 10 on their Houston-area campus.

“Pomp and Circumstance” played Sunday evening as the seniors filed into the pews of Arcadia First Baptist Church. Hundreds of parents and siblings applauded. Some of the graduates offered small smiles to people they knew.

The baccalaureate service was moved from Santa Fe High School’s auditorium because of the shooting.

The first speaker was graduate Aaron Chenoweth, who gave a short testimony about the trials and tribulations this graduating class had faced. Chenoweth called on the deeply religious community to glorify God to find comfort and love.

Earlier Sunday hundreds paid their respects a mosque for Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheik. She was among the eight students and two teachers killed Friday.


5:50 p.m.

Hundreds are paying their respects at a packed Houston-area mosque in the first funeral for a victim of a school shooting that killed 10.

An overflow crowd sat in folding chairs in a breezeway outside the main area of worship at Brand Lane Islamic Center in Stafford, Texas, to watch Sunday’s service for Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh on TV monitors. Sheikh was one of eight students slain Friday at Santa Fe High School outside Houston. Two teachers were also killed.

Islamic Society of Greater Houston imam Tauqir Shah said a prayer before Sheikh’s body was carried in a casket wrapped in a Pakistani flag to a hearse. Her body is expected to be returned to her family in Karachi.

Abdul Aziz Sheikh told The Associated Press he had been expecting his daughter to return home in a few weeks at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


3:10 p.m.

The pastor of a church where one of its member families lost a child in the Texas school shooting says the victims never will be forgotten.

Pastor Brad Drake at Santa Fe’s Dayspring Church read the names of the 10 people killed in the Santa Fe High School shootings Friday. He asked about 120 church members attending a service Sunday to “just together for a moment pray … to lift up their families today.”

Angelique Ramirez, a Santa Fe High School student who attended the church with her family, was among the 10 people killed. Her family wasn’t present for Sunday’s worship.

Drake said he wanted to offer practical way to help his congregation and brought a friend, a licensed counselor who runs a ministry in Springfield, Missouri, to speak. Kelly Ward encouraged people to not hold in their emotions and to allow themselves to grieve.

After the service, plates of barbecue were being sold with proceeds going to the victims’ families.


11:50 a.m.

A church where one of the victims of a Texas school shooting attended services is providing a licensed counselor during its worship to offer advice on how to deal with tragedy.

Angelique Ramirez attended Santa Fe’s Dayspring Church along with her family.

Senior Pastor Brad Drake said before Sunday’s worship that the church’s objective is to “offer hope and healing that we understand only comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

He said he had not planned anything special to say to the some 150 people who normally attend.

He was wearing a green T-shirt with gold lettering —the Santa Fe High School colors— printed Saturday night by the wife of the church’s youth pastor. Drake said all the church leaders were wearing the shirts Sunday.

He said Ramirez was a member of the Santa Fe church’s youth ministry and had occasionally accompanied a younger brother to the ministry.


11:40 a.m.

The National Rifle Association’s incoming president is blaming the latest deadly school shooting on youngsters “steeped in a culture of violence.”

Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North tells “Fox News Sunday” that authorities are trying “like the dickens” to treat symptoms instead of going after the disease.

He says the disease isn’t the Second Amendment and that depriving law-abiding citizens of their constitutional right to have a firearm won’t stop shootings like Friday’s near Houston that left 10 people dead.

North identifies the “disease” as youngsters growing up in a culture where violence is commonplace.

He listed such things as violent movies and TV shows and drug use, specifically Ritalin, which is used to treat hyperactivity disorder. Investigators haven’t linked the suspect to Ritalin or other drugs.


10:55 a.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has arrived at Arcadia First Baptist Church in Santa Fe, where he hugged grieving parishioners reeling two days after a teenage gunman killed 10 people in his high school.

Monica Bracknell, an 18-year-old senior who survived the shooting, told the governor Sunday morning that she doesn’t think the shooting should be turned into a political battle over gun control.

The teenager was surrounded by dozens of television cameras, photographers and reporters, as she shook her governor’s hand and said she didn’t believe guns were to blame for the shooting she survived.

She arrived at church a day after returning to her school to collect belongings left behind in the chaos of the shooting. She said she and her classmates are “shaken up” but coping.

The governor spoke privately to worshippers as they arrived but did not speak to the media.


9:20 a.m.

The first funeral for one of the 10 people fatally shot at a high school outside Houston is set for Sunday afternoon.

The Islamic Society for Greater Houston says services for 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh are scheduled for a mosque in suburban Houston.

She’d been attending classes at Santa Fe High School since last August when she was killed Friday.

Her father, Abdul Aziz Sheikh, has described his daughter as a hard-working and accomplished student who aspired to work in civil service and hoped one day to join Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

Her body is to be returned to her family in Karachi, Pakistan.


9:05 a.m.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is urging a “hardening” of school buildings in the wake of a shooting that killed 10 people at a Texas high school.

Patrick blames a U.S. “culture of violence” and says more needs to be done to keep shooters away from students, such as restricting school entrances and arming teachers with guns.

He tells CNN’s “State of the Union”: “When you’re facing someone who’s an active shooter, the best way to take that shooter down is with a gun. But even better than that is four to five guns to one.”

Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, Patrick did not address details of the law enforcement investigation into Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High. A 17-year-old student is being held on murder charges.

Patrick tells ABC’s “The Week” he supports background checks for gun purchasers but stresses “gun regulation starts at home.”

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