The country is in mourning after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people. One of the victims in the premeditated Wednesday, February 14, attack was 15-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff.
“My daughter Alyssa was killed today by a horrific act of violence. I just sent her to school and she was shot and killed,” began Alyssa’s mom, Lori, in a gut-wrenching Facebook post Wednesday night.
Lori described the freshman as a “talented soccer player” and “incredible creative writer,” who exuded love and believed in people.
“A knife is stabbed in my heart. I wish I could have taken those bullets for you,” wrote the grieving mother. “I will always love you and your memory will live on forever.”
Lori urged other parents to “please kiss your children, tell them you love them,” and “stand by them no matter what.” She then shared a message for her late daughter’s friends: “Honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t even give up . . . Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her.”
As previously reported, Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday, February 15, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office jail’s online records. The 19-year-old, who had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, used an AR-15 rifle in the attack that he purchased legally a year ago, authorities said.
Investigators believe that Cruz activated the building’s fire alarm ahead of the massacre to draw students of out of their classrooms and into the hallways, which likely increased the number of casualties. Twelve people were murdered inside the building, two outside and one on the street. Two others died at the hospital.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said during a Wednesday press conference that some of Cruz’s social media posts were “very disturbing” and included photos of him with weapons. BuzzFeed News reported that the FBI was warned about Cruz after he commented, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” on a YouTube video uploaded by vlogger Ben Bennight.
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