Here are the victims, and these are their stories
It’s been nearly two days since a former student allegedly open fired on the students, staff, and faculty of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida using a legally purchased AK-15. As more and more details emerge, we look for ways to support the families and community dealing with such a horrific event.
We can offer our condolences and prayers. We can petition Congress to finally take action on gun control. And we can remember those who lost their lives far, far too soon. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced yesterday that the families of all those who were killed in the shooting have been notified. Here are the victims.
Peter Wang, 15
Peter Wang, 15, was killed by the gunman.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
"He wasn't supposded to die. He was supposed to grow old with me. Please share his story," Aaron Chen, Wang's cousin, said. https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb #Parkland pic.twitter.com/yq579TeP7y
Wang is survived by his parents and two younger brothers. According to his cousin, he was a member of the school ROTC program. Friends saw Wang Wednesday in uniform, holding the door for fellow students during the attack so that they could escape.
Scott Beigel, geography teacher
Geography teacher Scott Beigel opened the door to let Kelsey Friend and a group of fleeing students into his classroom. When Beigel attempted to re-lock the door, the gunman walked by and shot him dead. https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb #Parkland pic.twitter.com/BTWH59DUIq— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
Beigel was a geography teacher. He was killed as he hearded students back into his classroom when the shooting began. He was a hero.
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
Alyssa Alhadeff‘s family wrote this message: “To Alyssa’s Friends honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t ever give up and inspire for greatness. Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her. Alyssa loved you all forever!” pic.twitter.com/yYf1D1uI9c— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 15, 2018
Alhadeff was an amazing soccer player. The freshman played for Parkland Travel Soccer. She started the season on JV, but was thrilled to be called up to varsity by the end of the season. “A knife is stabbed in my heart,” wrote her mother on Facebook. “I wish I could [have] taken those bullets for you. I will always love you and your memory will live on forever.”
“My heart is broken,” wrote Fred Guttenberg on Facebook about daughter Jaime. “Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school...am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this” #DouglasHighSchool pic.twitter.com/GoMTuCavuF— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 15, 2018
Guttenberg loved to dance and perform. “We lost our daughter and my son Jesse Guttenberg lost his sister,” her father wrote. “I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this.”
Carmen Schentrup, 16
Carmen Schentrup, 16, was a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. pic.twitter.com/YMtwXwLzfM— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 16, 2018
Schentrup took her studies seriously. The senior was a 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.
Known as Guac to his friends, Oliver came to the U.S. at age three after being born in Venezuela. He became a naturalized citizen in January 2017.
Alex Schachter, 14, was a freshman trombone player in the Stoneman Douglas marching band. He was proud of his school's state championship win earlier this year. Schachter's father described him as a "sweetheart of a kid." https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb #Parkland pic.twitter.com/bGZksn2kOS— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
The freshman was proud to play trombone in the school marching band.
Martin Duque, 14
The freshman leaves behind a devastated brother. “Words can not describe my pain,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Helena was a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person,” said a family member. “She was deeply loved and loved others even more so. Though she was somewhat reserved, she had a relentless motivation towards her academic studies, and her soft warm demeanor brought the best out in all who knew her.”
Cara Loughran's neighbor took to Facebook after the tragedy to remember the slain teen.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
"You will be greatly missed, and we will always love and celebrate your beautiful life," she wrote. https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb #Parkland pic.twitter.com/LG4wcJfSJ4
Loughran loved the beach.
Luke Hoyer was reported missing in the immediate aftermath of the #Parkland attack.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
Hoyer's grandfather said they were watching the news when he and his wife realized the shooting had occurred at their youngest grandson's school. https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb pic.twitter.com/CrpGFMUKvj
Hoyer was a freshman who enjoyed playing basketball.
Meadow Pollack was missing in the immediate aftermath of the #Parkland attack. Her father, Andrew Pollack, confirmed his daughter's death Thursday morning. https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb pic.twitter.com/rfivYz2gWQ— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
A senior, Pollack leaves behind two older brothers, her parents and nine older cousins. She planned to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton after graduation.
Aaron Feis, a security official and assistant football coach
Feis sacrificed his life to save students. He was killed when he threw his body in front of kids to protect them from incoming bullets. The beloved coach leaves behind a wife and daughter.
Freshman Gina Montalto, 14, died from her injuries late Wednesday night. She was a member of the school's winter guard team, which was slated to perform at a regional event in Tampa over the weekend. https://t.co/tRC5x8tGVb #Parkland pic.twitter.com/1Wi7UNsG1t— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
The freshman was a member of the school band’s winter guard. She was supposed to perform this weekend.
“Alaina loved to serve,” her family said in a statement. “She served her community through her participation in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas JROTC program and her countless hours of service as a volunteer for the ‘Helping Hands’ program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Nicholas Dworet, 17
A senior and swim team captain, Dworet had recently accepted an academic scholarship at the University of Indianapolis. He had planned to join their swim team in fall 2018.
Chris Hixon, school athletic director and wrestling coach
Hixon was fatally injuring after rushing towards the shooting to try and help students. He is survived by his wife and a son with special needs. “It is devastating,” Jason Stein, athletic director at nearby Taravella High School, told the Sun-Sentinal. “His son was with him everywhere. Chris epitomized what an athletic director was all about.”
We’re not interested in talking about the person who committed this heinous act. It’s the victims’ names that deserve to be etched forever in our minds and thoughts.