Florida school shooting: Victims identified by authorities, remembered by loved ones
Editor's Note: Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, to murdering 17 people during the rampage at his former high school.
PARKLAND, Fla. -- Seventeen people were killed and more than two dozen others were wounded when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire Wednesday on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus in Florida. Seven survivors remain hospitalized for treatment of various injuries.
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Cruz was booked into the Broward County Jail early Thursday and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He appeared in court for the first time Thursday and was ordered held without bond. The incident is the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel identified the 17 victims during a news conference Thursday evening. Many of the deceased had been named previously by friends and family, who shared their memories on social media.
Here is a list of the Florida school shooting victims:
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
Alyssa Alhadeff's cousin, Melissa Dibble, confirmed her death on Facebook Thursday morning.
According to Dibble, Alhadeff was a freshman who played soccer at the school.
"All she had to offer the world was love," Alhadeff's mother said.
Scott Beigel, 35
Scott Beigel was a geography teacher and cross-country coach at the school. His death was confirmed by his friend, Matt Hipps, on Facebook. A student told "Good Morning America" that Beigel was shot when trying to lock the door to a classroom after he had let students in.
In the post, Hipps calls Beigel his "friend, my brother, my family."
"He died shielding his students from gunfire. He made the ultimate sacrifice to do what he so often effortlessly did; make the lives of other people better," Hipps wrote. "I won't say goodbye. It just hurts too much. I will see you on the other side."
Martin Duque Anguiano, 14
Martin Duque Anguiano's death was confirmed on Instagram by his brother Miguel.
Miguel posted a photo with a caption that reads in part: "Words can not describe my pain. I know you're in a better place."
Nicholas Dworet, 17
Senior Nicholas Dworet's death was confirmed by his swim team on Facebook.
"It's with a heavy heart that I/We have to announce that our family member, teammate, TS Aquatics swimmer Nick Dworet has passed away," the post reads.
Dworet was planning to compete for the University of Indianapolis. Before his death, Facebook friends wrote: "We can't wait to see what you can achieve."
Aaron Feis, 37
Aaron Feis, who was a football coach at the school, acted as a human shield to protect students from Cruz as he fired rounds into a room, according to CBS Miami.
Feis, who was also a security guard, was struck by gunfire and later died.
"It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis," the MS Douglas Football team tweeted Thursday. "He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories."
Jaime Guttenberg, 14
Jaime Guttenberg's father, Fred, confirmed the 14-year-old's death on social media.
Guttenberg's parents spent Wednesday evening searching for their missing children. Her brother, Jesse, returned home safely.
Her Facebook page has since been turned into a memorial. Friends called her "charismatic and lovely."
Christopher Hixon, 49
Christopher Hixon was the high school's athletic director.
A photo from his U.S. Navy retirement ceremony was shared on social media. According to the post's caption, Hixon is survived by his wife, Debbi, sons Thomas (Ines) and Corey and two grandchildren.
Luke Hoyer, 15
Luke Hoyer's death was confirmed by his aunt, Toni Stroud Brownlee, on Facebook. According to Brownlee, authorities found Hoyer on the third floor of the school.
"This has devastated our family and we're all in shock and disbelief," she wrote. "Our hearts are broken. Luke was a beautiful human being and greatly loved."
Cara Loughran, 14
Cara Loughran's death was confirmed by a family friend, Tara Bazinsky.
Bazinsky originally shared a photo of Loughran on Facebook in desperate search of help to find her. She later updated the post by writing in part: "Cara's parents were given the news no parent ever wants to hear at 2am. Please keep her family in your prayers. This is too horrible to even begin to process."
Gina Montalto, 14
Gina Montalto's death was confirmed by her mother, Jennifer, on Facebook. Support poured in through comments over the loss of her loved one.
Montalto volunteered as a friend for kids with special needs, and she was on the color guard squad. An instructor called her "the sweetest soul ever."
Joaquin Oliver, 17
Joaquin Oliver's death was confirmed by a Venezuelan journalist who was with his family when they received the news. He had just become a U.S. citizen.
Oliver's Instagram page has received an outpouring of support. Condolences were shared from friends and strangers as comments on his most recent photo.
Alaina Petty, 14
Alaina Petty's family confirmed in a statement that the 14-year-old was among those killed Wednesday.
"It is impossible to sum up all that Alaina was, and meant, to her family & friends. Alaina was a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her," the family said. "She brought peace and joy to those that had lost everything."
Petty served in the high school's JROTC program and volunteered with her church. She traveled to help victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida last year.
"While 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," the family said.
Meadow Pollack, 18
Meadow Pollack's father confirmed her death to the Palm Beach Post Thursday morning. Andrew Pollack said he spent several hours searching for his daughter at local hospitals following the shooting.
Meadow, a senior, planned to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Her Facebook account has been converted into a memorial page.
Carmen Schentrup, 16
Carmen Schentrup's death was reported by family members and friends on social media. Her cousin, Matt Brandow, called her "the smartest and most intelligible 16-year-old I've ever met."
According to the Broward County Public School system, Schentrup was a 2017 National Merit Scholar semifinalist.
Peter Wang, 15
Peter Wang was shot while holding the door open so others could flee from the building. Friends described him as a "kind and caring" person.
Wang was in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC), which is a school program for aspiring U.S. military officers.
Helena Ramsay, 17
Helena Ramsay's family confirmed her death on Facebook. In a lengthy post, they described her as a "smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person" who was "deeply loved" by others.
Alexander Schachter, 14
Alexander Schachter was a trombone player in the school's marching band.
The 14-year-old's father, Max, said his son will be remembered as "a sweetheart of a kid."
Schachter's brother also attends the school, but he was not injured in the attack.
Peter Martinez and Stefan Becket contributed to this report.
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