An athletic director, football coach, beloved teacher, and numerous high school students are among the victims who lost their lives on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, the families of all the victims have been notified after suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly pulled the fire alarm at the school and waited as students and staff began to emerge, in a reported attempt to shoot and kill as many people as possible. The shocking incident left the following students and staff members fatally shot.
- Luke Hoyer was described by his his aunt, Joan Cox, as “smiling and always laid back,” according to People. Cox said the teen was a “good boy” who never got into trouble.
- AJC reports that Andrew Pollack stood outside of Broward Health North hospital on Wednesday, anxiously awaiting for his daughter Meadow to emerge, while calling her phone over and over. When he received the news she’d been fatally shot, the distraught father said she had plans to go to Lynn University after graduation.
- “Alyssa Alhadeff was a loved and well respected member of our club and community,” Parkland Travel Soccer posted on Facebook, adding that she will be “greatly missed.”
- “My heart is broken. Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school. We lost our daughter and my son Jesse Guttenberg lost his sister,” Jaime Guttenberg’s father wrote. “I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this. We appreciate all of the calls and messages and we apologize for not reacting to everyone individually.”
- “There are no hashtags for moments like this, only sadness,” Alaina Petty’s grandmother wrote on Facebook.
- “My heart is broken into pieces. I will forever remember you my sweet angel,” Gina Montalto’s former teacher, Manuel Miranda, told the Miami Herald.
- “I’m in such shock I don’t know what to say,” Joaquin Oliver’s brother posted on Twitter. “I love you so much, I hope you’re in a better place, and I’ll never forget you.”
- “He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot,” the high school’s football team wrote on Twitter, of Aaron Feis. “He died a hero.”
- “Chris is such a great guy,” Coral Springs High School athletic director, Dan Jacob, told the Sun Sentinel. “Chris is probably the nicest guy I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. He does so much. That is terrible that it would happen to anybody. It is so senseless.”
- “He will be missed immensely,” a family member said of marching band member, Alex Schachter, on Twitter. “Everybody is just broken up and beyond shocked… His family adored him and we’re all really just in shock.”
- “Helena (Ramsey) was a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person,” a family member wrote on Facebook. “She was deeply loved and loved others even more so.”
- “Words cannot describe my pain,” Martin Duque’s brother, Miguel, wrote. “I love you brother Martin you’ll be missed buddy.”
- “This is a kid who went from middle of the pack last year to being just lights out,” Nicholas Dworet’s coach, Andre Bailey, told Indy Star. “He helped put our program on the map.”
- “He wasn’t supposed to die,” Peter Wang’s cousin, Aaron Chen, said, according to the Miami Herald. “He was supposed to grow old with me.”
- “There’s a certain kind of family that you build through music class,” Sebastian Gonzales said of National Merit Scholar semifinalist, Carmen Schentrup. “It becomes a family, and Carmen was part of that family.”
“He unlocked the door and let us in,” student Kelsey Friend said of Geography teacher, Scott Beigel. “I had thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door, he had to re-lock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get the chance to.
“He was my hero and he will forever be my hero. I’ll never forget the actions he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom. He was an amazing person and I am alive today because of him. He will be missed.”
[Feature Photos: AP/Gerald Herbert]