Officials have released the names of the 17 people killed in Wednesday's shooting. These are some of their stories:
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, had played competitive soccer since she was 3 years old. Like any athlete, she had her ups and downs. But when her club, Parkland, faced off against the rival team from Coral Springs on Tuesday, she was at the top of her game.
"Her passing was on, her shooting was on, her decision-making was on," her mother, Lori Alhadeff, recalled. With her outgoing personality, Alyssa had a wide circle of friends at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She placed first in a debate tournament and was honing her skills as an attacking midfielder. The score at what was to be her last time on the soccer field was 1-0, Parkland.
"I was so proud of her," her mother said. "I told her it was the best game of her life."
Nicholas Dworet, a promising high school swimmer, took a recruiting visit to the University of Indianapolis a few weeks ago. After a group dinner, he pulled the coach aside and said he wanted to compete there after he graduated this spring.
"He was an instant part of our family," said Jason Hite, the university's swim coach. Hite said Nicholas had received an academic scholarship and planned to study physical therapy.
"The saddest thing to me is how much life this kid had and how hard he had worked to change directions and change paths," Hite said. "He was really going in the right direction and he had really created some opportunities for himself."
At Stoneman Douglas High, Aaron Feis was known to all — an assistant football coach and a security monitor. But he too had graduated from the school, played on the football team, and knew exactly what it was like to be a student in these halls.
So he was seen as someone who looked out for students who got in trouble, those who were struggling, those without fathers at home. "They said he was like another father," Feis' grandfather, Raymond, recalled. "He'd go out of his way to help anybody."
School officials said that Aaron Feis, who was in his 30s, did the same on Wednesday. When there were signs of trouble, they said, he responded immediately to help. "When Aaron Feis died, when he was killed — tragically, inhumanely — he did it protecting others; you can guarantee that," said Scott Israel, sheriff of Broward County.
"I don't know when Aaron's funeral is," Israel said. "I don't know how many adults are going to go, but you'll get 2,000 kids there."
Feis was married, his family said, and had an 8-year-old daughter, Arielle.
Luke Hoyer, 15, spent last Christmas with his extended family in South Carolina, where he bowled, joined in a big holiday meal and swapped stories with relatives.
"He was quiet, but a very happy individual," said a cousin, Grant Cox, who was at the Christmas gathering. Cox said the family had been told by the police that Luke, a freshman at Stoneman Douglas, was among those killed on Wednesday.
"He could crack jokes," Cox said. "He could make you smile."
Cara Loughran, 14, loved the beach. She adored her cousins. And she was an excellent student, her family said.
"We are absolutely gutted," by her death, her aunt, Lindsay Fontana, wrote in a Facebook post. "While your thoughts are appreciated, I beg you to DO SOMETHING. This should not have happened to our niece Cara and it cannot happen to other people's families."
New York Times