A look at the victims of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting
When a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 at a large high school in South Florida, the 17 dead included students and school workers, young and old.
On Thursday evening, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel read the names of those who were killed in the attack.
Here is a look at some of the 17 people who lost their lives in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Meadow Pollack, 18
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 Thursday.
Eighteen-year-old Pollack, a senior, had planned to attend Lynn University, her father, Andrew Pollack, said, showing the newspaper a photo of their daughter wearing a dark strapless dress.
‘‘Her life was taken way too soon and I have no words to describe how this feels,’’ friend Gii Lovito posted on Facebook.
Family friend Adam Schachtel said in a Facebook post that ‘‘an angel was taken away from us in that horrific tragedy . . . no words can be said so just prayers and sadness.’’
The Palm Beach Post reported that Pollack’s parents had gone to the hospital to look for their daughter after she didn’t answer repeated phone calls.
Martin Duque Anguiano, 14
Martin Duque, who was killed at a Florida high school, was one of Isaac Briones’ best friends.
The 15-year-old Briones called him ‘‘one of the nicest people I knew.’’
Briones said he last saw Martin the day of the shooting during first period when they were ‘‘just playing around, talking about jokes and stuff.’’ On Thursday, Briones was outside the school with others holding a group of white balloons for the victims.
On Instagram, Miguel Duque wrote that words can’t describe the pain of losing his brother. He added: ‘‘I love brother Martin you’ll be missed buddy. I know you’re in a better place. Duques forever man I love you junior!!! R.I.P Martin Duque!’’
Jaime Guttenberg, 14
Ninth-grader Jaime Guttenberg loved to dance and hoped to become an occupational therapist and mother.
In a written statement to the AP, her aunt Abbie Youkilis said the 14-year-old ‘‘was a pretty girl with the world’s best smile and her soul was sensitive and compassionate.’’
Guttenberg leaves her parents, Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg, and brother, Jesse. Her father said in a Facebook post that he is ‘‘trying to figure out how my family gets through this.’’
Youkilis called for gun-control legislation, saying Jaime’s parents were ‘‘the world’s most loving and over-protective parents but they could not protect Jaime from the sickness that has gripped our country.’’
Joaquin Oliver, 17
Joaquin Oliver was known by his nickname ‘‘Guac,’’ short for ‘‘guacamole,’’ because many couldn’t pronounce his first name.
‘‘My friend will literally never get to say, ‘I graduated high school,’’’ said Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old who said she had been friends with Oliver since they were freshmen.
Hemans said she last saw her friend at school the day of the shooting.
‘‘It was just a brief ‘Happy Valentine’s,’ ’’ she said. ‘‘He was with his girlfriend and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, you guys are so cute.’ ’’
She added, ‘‘He’s just a goofball. He’s the only kid you’d know that would dye his hair bleach-blond, walk around school, put some tiger stripes in and just be unique. He was a unique soul.’’
Earlier in the day, Oliver’s sister, Andrea Ghersi, shared a photo of her brother on Facebook and wrote that he was missing after the shooting, that the family had contacted several hospitals without being able to find him, and that they were waiting at a hotel for victim family members for word.
The post was shared more than 8,500 times.
Scott Beigel, 35
Students said geography teacher Scott Beigel, 35, helped them enter a locked classroom to avoid the gunman and paid for the brave act with his life.
‘‘If the shooter would have come into the room, I probably wouldn’t be speaking to you now,’’ student Kelsey Friend told “Good Morning America.”
Friend said when she heard gunshots and realized it wasn’t a drill she followed other students toward the classroom.
Beigel ‘‘unlocked the door and let us in,’’ she said. ‘‘I thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get a chance to.’’
Student Bruna Oliveda said she saw Beigel blocking the door.
‘‘I don’t know how we’re alive,’’ she said.
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
An amateur soccer club said one of its players, Alyssa Alhadeff, was among the students killed.
Parkland Soccer Club posted on its Facebook page that Alhadeff was a ‘‘loved and well respected member of our club and community.’’
The club posted a note it said was from her family which read: ‘‘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!’’
Alaina Petty, 14
Fourteen-year-old Alaina Petty was among those who died in the shooting, great-aunt Claudette McMahon Joshi confirmed in a Facebook post.
‘‘There are no hashtags for moments like this, only sadness,’’ she wrote, asking people to lift up Petty’s family in prayer.
Petty attended a local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Petty was a ‘‘valiant young member of the Coral Springs Ward,’’ Church leader Stephen E. Thompson wrote in an update.
Aaron Feis, 37
The high school football program tweeted that assistant coach Aaron Feis died while selflessly shielding students. The tweet ended: ‘‘He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.’’
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.
At a Thursday news conference, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said his two sons played for Feis.
‘‘When Aaron Feis died, when he was killed tragically, he did it protecting others because that is who Aaron Feis was,’’ the sheriff said.
The team website said Feis spent his entire coaching career at Marjory Stoneman after playing there as a student.
The Sun Sentinel reported that Feis, acting as a school security guard, responded to the original call on a school walkie-talkie. Someone on the radio asked if loud sounds they heard were firecrackers, said football coach Willis May, who also carries a radio.
It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis. He was our Assistant Football Coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories pic.twitter.com/O181FvuHl3— MS Douglas Football (@MSDEagles) February 15, 2018
‘‘I heard Aaron say, ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That’s the last I heard of him,’’ May said.
Feis’s online biography at the team website says he played center at the school from 1995-1998, and worked with junior varsity and varsity linemen. He also served as the college recruiting coordinator and worked with football operations.
‘‘He was a great guy,’’ sophomore Douglas lineman Gage Gaynor told the newspaper. ‘‘Everyone loved him. Shame he had to go like this. Always gave his all to making us better. Definitely learned a lot from him.’’
A married father of two and the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Chris Hixon wasn’t shy about jumping in wherever he was needed, friend and onetime colleague Dianne Sanzari said.
Hixon was a member of a Roman Catholic church in Hollywood. The Archdiocese of Miami confirmed his death Thursday.
When a volleyball team needed a fill-in coach, Hixon took over; the same thing happened with the wrestling team, Sanzari said. And when the school needed someone to patrol the campus and monitor threats as a security specialist, Hixon did that, too.
‘‘While he was a security monitor, he did the very best he could to also serve in that athletic administration role,’’ Sanzari said.
It was in that security role that Hixon apparently came within range of the shooter. Sanzari, a retired athletic director, said she was stunned when she heard Hixon had been shot, then cried inconsolably when she found he had been killed.
‘‘He loved his family, he loved his job,’’ she said. ‘‘Chris was just amazing.’’
Gina Montalto, 14
Shooting victim Gina Montalto was a 14-year-old freshman who participated on the winter color guard squad at the school.
Friends and relatives posted tributes on Facebook, including mother Jennifer Montalto.
‘‘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,’’ said the post.
One of Montalto’s color guard instructors from middle school, Manuel Miranda, told the Miami Herald that Montalto was ‘‘the sweetest soul ever.’’
‘‘She was kind, caring, always smiling and wanting to help,’’ Miranda said.
Nicholas Dworet, 17
Nicholas Dworet had committed to swim for the University of Indianapolis.
The college announced Thursday that the senior was among those killed in the mass shooting at his high school.
In a statement, UIndy swimming coach Jason Hite called Dworet an ‘‘energetic and very vibrant kind’’ who cheered for his soon-to-be university during a swimming meet last month.
‘‘I spoke with his mom this morning, and she reiterated the fact that he was really looking forward to this next step in his life and becoming a Hound,’’ Hite said. ‘‘He really felt like he had a family in the team, and was really excited about what we’re doing up here.’’
Peter Wang, 15
Peter Wang, a 15-year-old ROTC student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, wasn’t interested in status but wanted to help others, relatives said.
A cousin, Aaron Chen, told the Miami Herald that Wang was last seen holding a door open so others could get away from the gunman.
Friends and relatives first thought Wang was just missing and checked with area hospitals. They later found out he had been killed.
‘‘He wasn’t supposed to die,’’ Chen told First Coast News.
Luke Hoyer, 15
Fifteen-year-old Luke Hoyer was a loving, sweet person who loved basketball and ‘‘smiled all the time,’’ his aunt Joan Cox said.
‘‘He was just a good kid . . . very loving and just enjoyed life,’’ said Cox, of Greenville, South Carolina.
She said Luke’s parents, Gena and Tom Hoyer, searched for their son at hospitals before finally going to the law enforcement command center, where they eventually learned he had died.
‘‘It’s just a terrible thing,’’ said Cox, who said the family — including Luke’s older sister Abby and brother Jake — spent Christmas with her and other family in South Carolina. ‘‘We just all pretty much can’t get over it.’’
Carmen Schentrup, 16
Carmen Schentrup was a smart girl with a sweet smile.
In September, she was named one of 53 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county and a classmate tweeted ‘‘we all praised for her intelligence.’’
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.’’
Cara Loughran, 14
Cara Loughran, 14, was an excellent student who loved the beach and her cousins, according to her family.
An aunt, Lindsay Fontana, wrote on Facebook: ‘‘I had to tell my 8-year-old daughters that their sweet cousin Cara was killed in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday. We are absolutely gutted.’’
‘‘While your thoughts are appreciated, I beg you to DO SOMETHING,’’ she wrote. ‘‘This should not have happened to our niece Cara and it cannot happen to other people’s families.’’
Loughran’s neighbor posted a picture of her cheering on a young boy riding a bike with training wheels.
‘‘RIP Cara,’’ Danny Vogel wrote, ‘‘and fly with the angels. You will be greatly missed, and we will always love you and celebrate your beautiful life.’’
Alexander Schachter, 14
Trombone and baritone player Alex Schachter was a ‘‘sweetheart of a kid,’’ according to a social media post by father Max Schachter.
In honor of his 14-year-old freshman son, Schachter wrote on a gofundme page that he was starting a scholarship fund ‘‘to help other students experience the joys of music as well as fund increased security at schools.’’
The message said: ‘‘Please help keep Alex’s spirit alive.’’
Helena Ramsay, 17
Helena Ramsay was soft-spoken, but also smart and a go-getter, her cousin Sefena Cooper said Thursday.
The 17-year-old junior especially loved hanging out with friends and family, ‘‘and for this to happen is heartbreaking,’’ Cooper said.
‘‘Although 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,’’ another relative, Curtis Page Jr., wrote on Facebook.