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The Latest: Friends mourn senior killed in school shooting

February 15, 2018

The Latest on victims of a mass shooting at a Florida high school. (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Friends said senior Joaquin Oliver was among the students killed in Wednesday shooting at a Florida high school.

Nineteen-year-old Tyra Hemans said they had been friends since they were freshmen.

She was outside the school Thursday holding up two signs, one about gun control and the other about coach Aaron Feis and Joaquin, widely known by his nickname, “Guac,” short for “guacamole.”

Hemans said she last saw her friend at school the day of the shooting.

Earlier in the day, Oliver’s sister, Andrea Ghersi, shared a photo of her brother on Facebook and wrote that he was missing after the shooting, that the family had contacted several hospitals without being able to find him and that they were waiting at a hotel for victim family members for word.

The post was shared more than 8,500 times.


2:20 p.m.

A 35-year-old geography teacher was killed after he helped students enter a locked classroom to avoid a gunman at a Florida high school.

Students credited Scott Beigel with saving their lives Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Student Kelsey Friend told Good Morning America that when she heard gunshots and realized it wasn’t a drill she followed other students toward the classroom.

Beigel “unlocked the door and let us in,” she said. “I thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get a chance to.”

Student Bruna Oliveda said she saw Beigel blocking the door.


2:20 p.m.

A student soccer player was among those killed Wednesday in a Florida school shooting.

An amateur soccer club said one of its players, Alyssa Alhadeff, was among the students killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Parkland Soccer Club posted on its Facebook page that Alhadeff was a “loved and well respected member of our club and community.”


2:20 p.m.

The Mormon church says one of the deceased and one of the injured in the shooting at a Florida high school were members of the religion.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday that 14-year-old Alaina Petty died in the shooting and that 17-year-old Madeleine Wilford was seriously injured. Both girls were members of the religion’s congregation in Coral Springs.

The Utah-based church lamented in a statement that we “once again we find ourselves as a nation and as communities faced with a tragic loss of life and incomprehensible sorrow” and extended its love to victims and their families.

“We unite our prayers with millions of others who are mourning and praying for them,” the church said.


1:45 p.m.

An athletic director at has been identified as one of the victims in Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Chris Hixon was a member of a Roman Catholic church in Hollywood. The Archdiocese of Miami confirmed his death Thursday.

When the school needed someone to patrol the campus and monitor threats as a security specialist, Hixon took the job.

It was in that security role that Hixon apparently came within range of the shooter.


1:40 p.m.

A father is confirming that his daughter, an 18-year-old senior, was among those killed in Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.

Meadow Pollack’s parents called her phone repeatedly only to hear it ring, as they kept an anxious vigil outside the hospital. The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday that her father, Andrew Pollack, confirmed that his daughter was among the dead. He said she had planned to attend Lynn University.

Family friend Adam Schachtel said in a Facebook post that “an angel was taken away from us in that horrific tragedy ... no words can be said so just prayers and sadness.”


8:55 a.m.

A football coach who also worked as a security guard is among the dead in a school shooting that claimed 17 lives in Parkland, Florida.

The football program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tweets that assistant coach Aaron Feis died while selflessly shielding students.

The tweet ends: “He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”

The team website says Feis graduated from the school in 1999 and worked mainly with the junior varsity. It says he lived in nearby Coral Springs with his wife and daughter.

Authorities say a former student is charged with using an AR-15 to kill 17 people at the school. The team website says Feis spent his entire coaching career at Marjory Stoneman after playing there as a student.

Update hourly