Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday in the 2018 shooting massacre that left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Here are the victims:
ALYSSA ALHADEFF, 14
Alyssa excelled in math and Spanish, was a gifted writer and captain of her soccer team. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, according to her family. Her mother, Lori, was elected to the Broward County school board nine months after the shooting on a platform to improve campus security.
SCOTT BEIGEL, 35
Beigel, a beloved geography teacher and cross-country coach, died trying to escort students into his classroom and away from the shooter.
MARTIN DUQUE, 14
Martin, an immigrant from Mexico, was remembered by his family as an avid football fan, a good student and a devout churchgoer. He was a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
NICK DWORET, 17
Nick was an accomplished swimmer who had accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Indianapolis, where he planned to study finance. His younger brother Alex was wounded in the shooting. Their parents have started a charity, Swim4Nick, which offers college scholarships for swimmers and swim clinics, and soon will offer water survival classes for toddlers.
AARON FEIS, 37
Feis was an assistant football coach and security guard at Stoneman Douglas, his alma mater. He died rushing into the building to save students. He was survived by a wife and daughter.
JAIME GUTTENBERG, 14
Jaime was a performing dancer who hoped to become an occupational therapist and mother. She always stood up for the bullied. Her father, Fred Guttenberg, has become an outspoken national advocate of tighter gun regulations.
CHRISTOPHER HIXON, 49
Hixon, the school’s athletic director and a Navy veteran, died rushing to confront and stop the shooter. His wife, Debbi, was elected to the Broward County school board last year. A video of President Joe Biden comforting the Hixons’ special needs son, Corey, a month after the shooting went viral during last year’s campaign.
LUKE HOYER, 15
Luke’s family said he was a loving, sweet person who adored basketball and “smiled all the time.” Reserved but with a wry sense of humor, he was known by his friends as the king of the one-word answer.
CARA LOUGHRAN, 14
Cara enjoyed Irish dancing and gymnastics. Her family said she was an excellent student who loved the beach.
GINA MONTALTO, 14
Gina was a member of the Stoneman Douglas winter color guard team and was described by one of her instructors as “the sweetest soul ever.” Her father, Tony Montalto, is president of Stand With Parkland, the group that represents the victims’ families.
JOAQUIN OLIVER, 17
Joaquin, a gifted writer who loved soccer, was known as “Guac,” short for “guacamole,” because some struggled to say his name. He had brought flowers to school as a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend. His father, artist Manuel Oliver, has become known for pieces decrying gun violence and started the organization “Change the Ref” to lobby for stronger gun regulations.
ALAINA PETTY, 14
Alaina was a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and spent countless hours volunteering through her church. A few months before the shooting, she had helped Florida families recovering from Hurricane Irma. Her father, Ryan, served on a state commission that investigated the shooting’s causes and has become active in conservative political causes.
MEADOW POLLACK, 18
Meadow, an aspiring lawyer, was an outgoing personality who died trying to shield a younger student with her body. She was three months from graduating and planned to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton. Her father, Andrew Pollack, has become a conservative activist. He spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention, blaming the shooting on Broward County’s “far-left” school board.
HELENA RAMSAY, 17
Helena was described by friends as a relentless student with a reserved personality. A native of England, she had moved to the United States when she was 2. She died trying to protect a friend from the gunman as he fired into their classroom.
ALEX SCHACHTER, 14
Alex, a quiet youngster, was an enthusiastic member of the school’s band, playing trombone. His mother died when he was a young child. His father, Max, served on the state commission that investigated the shooting’s causes and has become a national advocate for stronger school security measures.
CARMEN SCHENTRUP, 16
Carmen was a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, one of 53 in Broward County. She planned to attend Washington State University with the goal of becoming a medical researcher and finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurological disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
PETER WANG, 15
Peter, wearing his Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps uniform, died trying to usher other students to safety. He dreamed of attending the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The school granted him posthumous admission.
This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Helena Ramsay’s name from Helana.