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Mother says her daughter, slain in Texas school massacre, spurned gunman in class week earlier

AFP-JIJI

Shana Fisher had fended off advances for months by the suspect in the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, and finally stood up to him in class a week ago, her mother told CNN.

On Friday, she was 1 of 10 people killed when authorities say 17-year-old Dmitrios Pagourtzis unleashed havoc in the Santa Fe High School, using his father’s shotgun and a handgun.

“One of the shotgun shells was for my daughter,” said Sadie Baze, the girl’s mother. “She’s never going to walk through the front door again.”

Shana was gunned down during art class.

Described as “shy and sweet,” she had just turned 16 and “had a lot of love in her heart,” her mother said.

Baze said Pagourtzis had pestered her daughter for months to go out with him, and then a week before the shooting she stood up in class and told him she wouldn’t go out with him.

Shana’s death was announced by her aunt, Candi Thurman, on Twitter.

“She should be getting her first car, not a funeral,” Thurman said.

Here are brief profiles of other victims of the latest school shooting.

— Jared Black, 17

Black had just turned 17; his birthday party had been set for Saturday. He enjoyed playing video games, anime and wrestling, and was in his favorite class, art, when he was shot dead.

— Christian ‘Riley’ Garcia, 15

Garcia enjoyed water skiing and riding jet skis on a lake where his family would go on vacation. His death was confirmed by a cousin on Twitter.

“Today I learned about the shooting and come to find out my lil cousin was there. RIP BABY BOY I LOVE YOU! #SantaFeHighSchool,” wrote the cousin, who goes by AJ.

— Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15

Mary Baker, reportedly Kyle’s great-aunt, posted Friday that McLeod was killed in the shooting. Various social media accounts said that he died in his favorite class, art.

Widely shared pictures online show a red-haired youth with a gentle smile.

— Ann Perkins, 64

A substitute teacher, she was known to many as “Grandma Perkins.” A friend called her a “beloved teacher, family friend & woman.” She reportedly looked forward to retiring.

A GoFundMe page to raise money for the funeral said that she “protected her students in her last moments.”

— Angelique Ramirez, 15

“Angelique’s smile was contagious and brightened up any room she walked into,” a family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to assist her relatives. “In losing Angelique, her friends and family lost so much.”

She was described as “a kind, compassionate and caring individual.”

— Sabika Sheikh, 17

A Pakistani exchange student, Sheikh had been due to return to her home in the southern port city of Karachi in the coming weeks in time for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“I kept calling her and sent her messages on WhatsApp. Never before had my daughter failed to reply,” her father Abdul Aziz told AFP, fighting back tears at his Karachi home, just hours after he and his wife had their worst fears confirmed.

“We are still in a state of denial. It is like a nightmare,” said Aziz. His wife sat nearby, visibly still shocked and seemingly unable to speak as friends and relatives tried to comfort her.

— Chris Stone, 17

“Being a brother was his best job,” Stone’s sister, Mercedez, told CNN. “Although he was the youngest, he definitely protected his sisters as if he was the oldest. He was always there if someone needed someone to listen or some cheering up.”

Stone was “adventurous” and “willing to try anything” such as parasailing and jet skiing, Mercedez said.

A friend described him on Twitter as a “sweet and funny boy.”

— Cynthia Tisdale, 63

Tisdale, a substitute teacher and longtime paralegal worker, was leading an art class when she was shot dead.

Her adult son Recie Tisdale, a police detective, told The Washington Post that his mother “started substitute teaching because she loved to help children,” not because she needed the money.

— Kimberly Vaughan

A GoFundMe page to help Vaughan’s single mother described the ninth-grader as a longtime Girl Scout who was “loved by many.”

The teen’s mother, Rhonda Hart, is a member of the U.S. Army. Vaughan is survived by her brother, Tyler.

“Folks — call your damn senators. Call your congressmen,” an upset Hart pleaded on Facebook. “We need GUN CONTROL. WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR KIDS.”