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Monday 19 February 2018

'We lost our baby girl' - Tributes pour in as first victims of Florida school shooting are named

Jaime Guttenberg was named as one of the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre
Jaime Guttenberg was named as one of the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre
Jaime Guttenberg was named as one of the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre

Rozina Sabur

A teenage girl and two male teachers have been named as the first victims of the Florida high school massacre.

Student Jaime Guttenberg is the first teenager to be confirmed dead among the 17 victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Her family were desperately searching for information on social media when she did not return home along with her brother, who also attends the school, before learning she had been killed.

Her father, Fred, shared the news in a Facebook post.

Jaime Guttenberg was named as one of the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre
Jaime Guttenberg was named as one of the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre

He wrote: “My heart is broken. Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school.

"We lost our daughter and my son Jesse Guttenberg lost his sister. I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family get's through this. Jen and I will be figuring things out today and so we ask that you respect out privacy.

"We will be getting messages out later regarding visitation. Hugs to all and hold your children tight.”

Two male staff who attempted to shield students from the gunman were also killed during the shooting rampage.

Aaron Feis, the school's assistant football coach, jumped in front of students to shield them from bullets. He was taken to hospital but did not survive. His team tweeted that he had "died a hero".

The school's football team tweeted: "It is with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis.

"He was our Assistant Football Coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories."

The other staff member was Chris Hixon, the school's athletics director and a wrestling coach.

The 49-year-old married father was described as the kind of person "who would give you the shirt off his back" by a colleague.

Dan Jacob, the athletics director at Coral Springs High School, said: "He does so much . . . It is so senseless. I am totally crushed,” he told local newspaper the Sun-Sentinel.

Jaime's cousin, Alexa Saka, said the student was "the most beautiful, kind-hearted, driven, funny and sweet girl".

In a tribute in the New York Daily News she said: "You went out of your way to make everyone feel good and that smile . . . that smile lit up every single room you walked into.

"You hold such a special place in my heart. My sweet baby cousin, may you sleep with the angels tonight and always."

The 19-year-old suspect in the shooting, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Mr Cruz was a former student at the school, which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

He is accused of entering the campus just before school was dismissed on Wednesday afternoon and opening fire on students and teachers.

Telegraph.co.uk

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