"Each name was like my heart skipped a beat": Parkland, Florida holds candlelit vigil
PARKLAND, Fla. -- At least 1,000 people attended a candlelight vigil Thursday night for the 17 people killed in a Florida school shooting, some of the mourners sobbing openly as the victims' names were read aloud. Seventeen angels took center stage and the friends, family and loved ones who talked about the victims that those angels symbolized, CBS Miami reports.
Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed, spoke at the vigil.
"We love you and we never want to go through the tragedy of losing you," Fred Guttenberg said.
Seventeen-year-old soccer player Bryan Herrera said he initially hadn't planned on attending the vigil. "I didn't think I could handle it," he said.
"Each name was like my heart skipped a beat," Herrera said.
Dressed in the school's red color, some held flowers while others wielded signs asking for action to fight school violence, including gun control.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel identified the 17 people who were killed Wednesday. In addition to Jaime Guttenberg, victims included football coach Aaron Feis, 14-year-old Alaina Petty, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver and teacher Scott Beigel. One of Beigel's students, Kelsey Friend, told CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor that Beigel "basically saved my life."
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Jack Haimowitz told Glor on Thursday that Parkland "will get through this as a family."
At one point during the vigil, some in the crowd began shouting, "No more guns! No more guns!"
Tighe Barry held a yellow sign reading "NRA stop killing our kids."
"I have two kids, and I think the only way it's going to stop is if we get the gun lobbyists off the back of politicians," Barry said.
Ernest Rospierski, a teacher at the school, took several bracing breaths at the vigil as he talked to a reporter about the horror in the school halls.
"Bang, bang, bang - all of a sudden the shooting stopped," he said. "I looked down. He was reloading. I yelled: Run. And then I ran behind as many kids as I could."
Shay Makinde, 16, fought back tears for the friends he tried to save but could not. The junior pulled fleeing students from the hallway into a classroom. He turned to grab Joaquin Oliver but it was too late. The vigil "made me see my friend again and see him get shot and see his body on the floor."
The vigil ended with a request for everyone to write one specific act of good that they would perform in the coming days and weeks as a way to channel the raw emotions of the night into something positive.
Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz was booked into the Broward County Jail early Thursday, still wearing the hospital gown he was given after being treated for labored breathing following his arrest. Later in the day, a Broward County Sheriff's Office report said Cruz confessed to being the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He told interrogating officers that he "began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds" on Wednesday afternoon, according to the report.
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