Many students killed in Florida school shooting had siblings who survived

Students grieve outside Pines Trail Center where counselors are present, after Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

BROWARD COUNTY (WFLA)– Some of the victims of Wednesday’s deadly shooting spree at a Broward County school will have to deal with the loss of a brother or sister in addition to the trauma of the shooting. Many of the students who died in the shooting had siblings who attended the school and survived.

Authorities say the families of all 17 victims of yesterday’s deadly school shooting have been notified about their loved ones’ deaths.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the names of the deceased shooting victims will be released soon.

“Today is a day of healing, today is a day of mourning,” said Sheriff Israel.

Authorities say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15 rifle when he opened fire Wednesday afternoon at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Cruz was jailed on 17 counts of murder.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said many of the students who were killed had siblings at the school. The surviving children will have to deal with the loss of a brother or sister in addition to the trauma of the shooting.

Bondi said that counselors were providing support to families of the slain students at a local hotel until about 3:30 Thursday morning.

Bondi said the state of Florida will pay for the victims’ funerals and medical care. She also said a GoFundMe account has been created to benefit the victims. The account is called the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund which has raised more than $166,000 since it was created by the Broward Education Foundation on Wednesday morning.

Bondi said that one of the GoFundMe staff members was impacted by the shooting. That staff member knew one of the victims.

Sheriff Israel said that two people at the school lost their lives trying to protect the students, a football coach and a campus monitor, whose name Israel did not release.

“Unfortunately, these two heroes gave their lives for our kids,” said Sheriff Israel.

Sheriff Israel said he knew Aaron Feis personally. “The kids in this community loved him. They adored him,” said Israel. “He did it to protect others.”

Shooting victims were transported to three Broward Health Hospitals. Doctors at the hospitals provided an update about the injured. 23 people were treated at the hospitals. Of the 23, two patients died and four patients are in critical condition. 10 patients have been discharged, including shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.

Dr. Evan Boyer said that the hospital staff had previously trained to prepare for incidents like these. Even with the training, tragedies impact hospital staff who try to save the lives and help families who have lost loved ones.

“If your kid doesn’t come home from school, it hits pretty hard,” said Dr. Boyer.

“Our hearts and prayers are with these families,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott who pledged to work with lawmakers to increase school safety.

“If somebody is mentally ill, they should not have access to a gun,” said Scott. “The violence has to stop. We can not lose another child in this country to violence in school.”

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