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Gun violence in the US

Coach, immigrant, star swimmer: the 17 Florida high school shooting victims

Broward County Sheriff’s Office releases names of the people killed Wednesday in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 February, 2018, 10:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 June, 2018, 3:32am

A beloved geography teacher. A coach who doubled as a school security guard. Students on the cusp of graduating from high school, and starting their adult lives.

These are the 17 people killed on Wednesday in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Aaron Feis, 37, football coach

Feis played football for the Stoneman Douglas team before he graduated in 1999. The 37-year-old went back three years later to become assistant football coach and a security guard.

Feis, who had a wife and a daughter, reportedly was the first to respond to the ‘code red’ when the shooting began. Students said he was shot as he shielded several of them from Cruz.

“I coached with him. My two boys played for him,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

“The kids in this community loved him, adored him.”

Scott Beigel, 35, geography teacher

Beigel unlocked a classroom door and funnelled students inside after the shooting began. The 35-year-old geography teacher then blocked the door from the outside to protect them, and was shot, student Kelsey Friend told ABC’s Good Morning America.

“Mr Beigel was my hero and he still will forever be my hero,” Friend said.

“I am alive today because of him.”

Watch: Surviving student says ‘this is not acceptable!’

Chris Hixon, 49, athletic director

School athletic director Hixon coached wrestlers and led the Stoneman Douglas baseball team to state and national championships in 2016.

A member of the US Naval Reserve, he deployed to Iraq in 2007. Hixon, 49, had two children of his own and was on the school’s security team.

Nicholas Dworet, 17

Just one week ago, Dworet signed a swimming scholarship with the University of Indianapolis, and he had big dreams for the future: the freestyle sprinter had the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo as his screen saver, according to his coach at the TS Aquatics club, Andre Bailey.

Joaquin Oliver, 17

Oliver only became an American citizen a year ago – he wore a black bow tie to the ceremony. Oliver, who was 17 and set to graduate in a few months, moved from Venezuela to the United States when he was just three years old.

Gina Montalto, 14

Montalto was in her first year at Stoneman Douglas. She performed on the school’s winter colour guard squad – a combination of rifle and flag twirling, gymnastics, and dance. The team was to compete in Tampa this weekend.

“She was a smart, loving, caring, and strong girl who brightened any room she entered. She will be missed by our family for all eternity,” her mother, Jennifer Montalto, wrote on Facebook.

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, student

Alhadeff was a dual athlete in track and soccer, her grandmother told Miami television station. Parkland Soccer Club said on Facebook that she was a “loved and well respected member of our club” who would be “greatly missed”.

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, student

Guttenberg, a freshman who was a talented dancer, was a graceful as a gazelle while delighting her dance teachers with an impish sense of humour, according to Facebook posts.

“Dance in Heaven beautiful girl,” posted mentor Michelle McGrath Gerlick.

Meadow Pollack, 18. student

The excitement of college loomed for Pollack, a senior who planned to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, her father told the Palm Beach Post.

Family grounded her, she said on Facebook.

“Nothing makes me happier than my grandma and her smile,” read one of her posts.

Luke Hoyer, 15, student

A sports-loving freshman, Hoyer played travel basketball and had plans to try out for the football team, his grandmother told FOX Carolina.

Alex Schachter, 14, student

Music aficionado Schachter played trombone in the school marching band, The New York Times reported. The freshman lived with his father, after his mother’s death when he was 5 years old.

Martin Duque, 14, student

Brotherly love seemed to infuse the life of Martin Duque, who local media described as a freshman whose older brother Miguel graduated from Douglas High last year.

Alongside an Instagram photograph of the brothers embracing in a handshake, Miguel wrote: “Words cannot describe my pain … I love brother Martin you’ll be missed buddy.”

Peter Wang, 15, student

A member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, a school programme for prospective US military officers known as ROTC, Wang spent his final moments trying to help others, his cousin Aaron Chen said. Wang was last seen wearing his grey ROTC uniform and holding open a door open so other people could escape, his cousin said.

Carmen Schentrup, 16, student

An outstanding student, Schentrup distinguished herself in her senior year as a 2018 National Merit Scholar semi-finalist.

Alaina Petty, 14, student

In a statement, her family said Petty was a member of the JROTC programme and volunteered with the “Helping Hands” programme of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including a clean-up of the Keys after Hurricane Irma, according to The Miami Herald.

“It is impossible to sum up all that Alaina was, and meant, to her family & friends,” the family wrote, according to the newspaper.

“Alaina was a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her.”

Cara Loughran, 14, student

“RIP Cara, and fly with the angels. You will be greatly missed, and we will always love you and celebrate your beautiful life,” Danny Vogel, her neighbour, wrote on Facebook.

Helena Ramsay, 17, student

“Helena was a smart, kindhearted, and thoughtful person. 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 demeanour brought the best out in all who knew her,” Curtis Page Jnr, who described himself as a family member, said on Facebook.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Associated Press