Accessibility links

Breaking News
USA

First Funerals Held for Victims of Florida School Shooting


The first funeral services were held Friday for the victims of this week’s massacre at a Florida high school.

Separate funerals were held for Alyssa Alhadeff, who at age 14 was one of the youngest victims of Wednesday’s shooting, along with 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, who was preparing to go to college.

Alyssa’s mother, Lori, told family and friends at the funeral service, “A knife was stabbed in my heart. I wish I could have taken those bullets for you, Alyssa. I would have protected you.”

Lori Alhadeff earlier made a television appearance on CNN where she screamed and demanded that President Donald Trump take action to address the epidemic of school violence.

At Pollack’s funeral, David Zafrani said he was talking with Pollack minutes before the shooting.

“I know that she’s in a safer place now and the angels will be with her,” he said.

Mourners console each other at the gravesite for shooting victim Meadow Pollack in North Lauderdale, Florida, Feb. 16, 2018. Pollack was one of 17 victims killed in a shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Mourners console each other at the gravesite for shooting victim Meadow Pollack in North Lauderdale, Florida, Feb. 16, 2018. Pollack was one of 17 victims killed in a shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

More known about shooting

Seventeen people, 14 students and three teachers, were killed during the Valentine’s Day shooting.

Nikolas Cruz is accused of opening fire with an assault rifle on students and teachers at the south Florida high school where he had been enrolled before being expelled last year for disciplinary reasons.

Cruz fired in five classrooms on two floors of the high school, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Authorities say when he was done, Cruz allegedly dropped the gun and his backpack full of ammunition and left the building along with other students fleeing the scene.

Participants hold placards with the names of victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, during a candlelight vigil at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, Feb. 16, 2018.
Participants hold placards with the names of victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, during a candlelight vigil at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, Feb. 16, 2018.

Police arrested Cruz Wednesday afternoon outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 70 kilometers north of Miami. The 19-year-old was ordered held without bond Thursday during a brief court appearance where he was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Officials say Cruz has admitted to carrying out the shooting with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

As the investigation into the violence continued, new details emerged about Cruz and how he committed his crime.

Witnesses say Cruz took an Uber to his former school and walked inside carrying a black duffle bag and a black backpack. Authorities say Cruz entered the stairwell, where he took out his rifle.

This video screen grab image shows shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz on Feb. 15, 2018 at Broward County Jail in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
This video screen grab image shows shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz on Feb. 15, 2018 at Broward County Jail in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

No known motive

Florida state Sen. Bill Galvano, who visited the school, said authorities told him it appeared that Cruz tried to fire out of the third-floor windows at students as they were fleeing the school, but the high-impact windows did not shatter.

Authorities have not given a motive for the shooting, but people who knew Cruz say he was fascinated by weapons and violence and say his strange behavior caused him to lose some friendships.

In addition to the 17 deaths authorities reported, the shooting left 15 others hospitalized, some of them in critical condition.

Another funeral service is scheduled Sunday for 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg.

Your opinion

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG