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03 June 2023

Coach, immigrant, star swimmer: the Florida shooting victims


A beloved geography teacher. A coach who doubled as a school security guard. Students on the cusp of graduating from high school, and starting their adult lives.

Nikolas Cruz

These are the 17 people killed on Wednesday in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Aaron Feis, 37, football coach

Aaron Feis played football for the Stoneman Douglas team before he graduated in 1999. The 37-year-old went back three years later to become assistant football coach and a security guard.

Feis, who had a wife and a daughter, reportedly was the first to respond to the 'code red' when the shooting began. Students said he was shot as he shielded several of them from Cruz.

"I coached with him. My two boys played for him," Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. "The kids in this community loved him, adored him."

Scott Beigel, 35, geography teacher

Scott Beigel unlocked a classroom door and funneled students inside after the shooting began. The 35-year-old geography teacher then blocked the door from the outside to protect them, and was shot, student Kelsey Friend told ABC's "Good Morning America."

"Mr. Beigel was my hero and he still will forever be my hero," Friend said. "I am alive today because of him."

Chris Hixon, 49, athletic director

School athletic director Chris Hixon coached wrestlers and led the Stoneman Douglas baseball team to state and national championships in 2016.

A member of the US Naval Reserve, he deployed to Iraq in 2007. Hixon, 49, had two children of his own and was on the school's security team.

Nicholas Dworet, 17

Just one week ago, Nicholas Dworet, 17, signed a swimming scholarship with the University of Indianapolis, and he had big dreams for the future: the freestyle sprinter had the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo as his screen-saver, according to his coach at the TS Aquatics club, Andre Bailey.

Joaquin Oliver, 17

Joaquin Oliver only became an American citizen a year ago -- he wore a black bow tie to the ceremony. Oliver, who was 17 and set to graduate in a few months, moved from Venezuela to the United States when he was just three years old.

Gina Montalto, 14

Gina Montalto, 14, was in her first year at Stoneman Douglas. She performed on the school's winter color guard squad -- a combination of rifle and flag twirling, gymnastics, and dance. The team was to compete in Tampa this weekend.

"She was a smart, loving, caring, and strong girl who brightened any room she entered. She will be missed by our family for all eternity," her mother, Jennifer Montalto, wrote on Facebook.

Other victims

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14

Jaime Guttenberg, 14

Luke Hoyer, 15

Cara Loughran, 14

Alaina Petty, 14

Meadow Pollack, 18

Helena Ramsay, 17

Alexander Schachter, 14

Carmen Schentrup, 16

Peter Wang, 15