These Are the Victims of the School Shooting in Florida
On February 14, Nikolas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, opened fire on the school with an AR-15 assault rifle, killing 17 people and injuring 14 others. Some victims' family members and loved ones have spoken to media outlets about their devastating loss. Here is what we know so far about the victims of the mass shooting.
The football program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tweeted that assistant coach Aaron Feis died while selflessly shielding students. "He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories," the tweet read.
Feis graduated from the school in 1999 and worked mainly with the junior varsity, the team website said. It said he lived in nearby Coral Springs with his wife and daughter.
Chris HixonChris Hixon, 49, was the athletic director at Stoneman Douglas, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq as a member of the Navy Reserve. "Chris is probably the nicest guy I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. He does so much," Coral Springs High School athletic director Dan Jacob told the newspaper. "That is terrible that it would happen to anybody. It is so senseless.
Nicholas Dworet, a student at Stoneman Douglas, had committed to enrolling at the University of Indianapolis in the fall to join its swim team, the Indianapolis Starreported. His friends and family had been commending him for turning his academic performance around in order to get a scholarship at the university.
"This is a kid who went from middle of the pack last year to being just lights out," Andre Bailey, coach of TS Aquatics in Broward County, told the newspaper. "He helped put our program on the map."
Gina MontaltoThe 14-year-old freshman was on the school's winter guard team; her team was about to perform in Tampa this weekend. "My heart is broken into pieces. I will forever remember you my sweet angel," Manuel Miranda, one of her instructors from middle school, told the Miami Herald. "She was the sweetest soul ever. She was kind, caring always smiling and wanting to help."
Beigel, 35, was a geography teacher at Stoneman Douglas, the Herald reports. Kelsey Friend, one of his students, told Local 10 that he was killed while trying to lock the classroom door. "Unfortunately, I had to watch him lying there lifeless in the doorway," she said, noting he was her favorite teacher. "I will truly, in every moment of my life, miss him."
Guttenberg was a 14-year-old freshman at Stoneman Douglas, according to Local 10. Her parents had posted information about her while she was still missing, and took the post down after they learned she had died. Jamie's brother, Jesse, made it home safely.
Alhadeff was a student at Stoneman Douglas and an avid soccer player. One of her relatives confirmed to CNN that she died in the shooting. Her soccer club paid tribute to her in a Facebook post. "To Alyssa's friends, honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life," they wrote. "Don't ever give up and inspire for greatness. Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her. Alyssa loved you all forever!"
Joaquin Oliver was known by his nickname "Guac," short for "guacamole," because many couldn't pronounce his first name, according to the Associated Press.
The 17-year-old, who was born in Venezuela, had just become a U.S. citizen last year, USA Today reports. "He's never going to graduate high school like I get to graduate," his friend, Tyra Hemats, told the newspaper. "He's literally stuck there forever."
Meadow Pollack's parents called her phone repeatedly only to hear it ring, as they kept an anxious vigil outside the hospital. But on Thursday, her father, Andrew Pollack, confirmed that his daughter was among the dead, the Palm Beach Post reported. Eighteen-year-old Pollack, a senior, had planned to attend Lynn University, her father said.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Duque was 14 and a student at Stoneman Douglas. "He was like, one of the nicest people I knew," his best friend Isaac Briones told the Associated Press. "He was so caring."
His older brother, himself a graduate of the school, mourned his loss on Instagram. "Words can not describe my pain," he wrote. "I love brother Martin you'll be missed buddy. I know you're in a better place."
According to People, Hoyer was a freshman at Stoneman Douglas who was known as being a fun-loving kid with a positive attitude. "He was always smiling and very laid back," his aunt, Joan Cox, told the magazine. "He never caused any trouble. He was just a good boy and had a great life."
According to the New York Times, Schacter 14, played the trombone in the school marching band. His father, Max, told the newspaper that his son was "a sweetheart of a kid" who "just wanted to do well and make his parents happy."
The Brooklyn-born freshman was an active member of the school's ROTC program, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. "He is so brave. He is the person who is genuinely kind to everyone. He doesn't care about popularity," his cousin, Lin Chen, told the newspaper. "He always liked to cheer people up. He is like the big brother everyone wished they had."
Fourteen-year-old Alaina was a member of the Mormon church, and the community mourned the loss on Thursday, according to the Deseret News. She, along with Wang, was part of the ROTC program, and also took great pride in her volunteer work.
"It is impossible to sum up all that Alaina was and meant to her family and friends. Alaina was a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her," her family said in a statement. "We will not have the opportunity to watch her grow up and become the amazing woman we know she would become, we are keeping an eternal perspective."
Helena Ramsey was one of the victims of the attack, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office. According to The Daily Beast, a relative wrote on Facebook that she was "a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person. She was deeply loved and loved others even more so."
The sheriff's office also identified Loughran as one of the victims of the school shooting. "RIP Cara, and fly with the angels. You will be greatly missed, and we will always love you and celebrate your beautiful life," her neighbor wrote on Facebook, according to the Modesto Bee.
In September, Schentrup was named one of 53 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county and a classmate tweeted "we all praised for her intelligence."
According to The Associated Press, cousin Matt Brandow posted on Facebook that the 16-year-old visited Washington State recently and said she wanted to go to the University of Washington. He asked: you like the rain? "She answers, I hate sweating in the humid Florida weather," Brandow wrote. "That's when I knew you were perfect for Washington."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.