A vigil was held Thursday in the wake of this week’s horrific school shooting in Florida, where at least 1,000 attendees mourned the 17 victims.
Some of the mourners wept as the names of the 13 students and three adult victims’ names were read aloud.
People laid flowers at the feet of 17 angels on the stage, meant to symbolize those who were gunned down at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday, according to WSVN.
Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime perished in the shooting, was among those who spoke at the sad
“We love you and we never want to go through the tragedy of losing you,” said Guttenberg. “This is impossible. My girl, my 14-year-old baby… and for those of you who know my Jaime, she was the life of the party, she was the energy in the room.”
Also in the crowd were members of the student body who survived when cops say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire after pulling a school fire alarm.
“Missing my friends,” Student Josh Mallis said at the early evening vigil. “They’re not here anymore because someone decided to murder them.”
Mallis recalled to attendees how shooting victim Alaina Petty’s surviving brother saved his life.
“He asked me to help him with JROTC stuff, so I left the freshman building 20 minutes before the shots started,” he said.
Some students struggled to come to terms with the losses they’d only just suffered.
“My friends are dead,” one student said. “Peter, Martin — they’re dead, and those are my good friends.”
By the time the attendees gathered Thursday evening at Pine Trail Park in Parkland, the names of all the dead had been released.
The victims are Alyssa Alhadeff, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Martin Duque, Nicholas Dworet, Scott Beigel, Luke Hoyer, Chris Hixon, Gina Montalto, Meadow Pollack, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Cara Loughran, Helena Ramsey, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup and Peter Wang.