The identities of the 17 people who were killed in the Florida high school shooting on Wednesday have been released, and a U.S. Navy Reservist who deployed to Iraq in 2007 is among those who are now dead.
Chris Hixon was the athlete director and wrestling coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
He put his job on hold in 2007 in order to deploy to Iraq.
RIP Chris Hixon, 49, was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s athletic director pic.twitter.com/hEbSRYpgu9
— Ibeleeve (@IbeleeveInUSA) February 15, 2018
Hixon, who was 49 years old, leaves behind a wife and a son, who is currently active duty military, according to reports.
“Chris is such a great guy,” Coral Springs High School Athletic Director Dan Jacob told the Sun Sentinel. “Chris is probably the nicest guy I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. He does so much. That is terrible that it would happen to anybody. It is so senseless. I am crushed. I am totally crushed.”
The 19-year-old suspect in the Florida high school shooting is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Nikolas Cruz confessed to the high school shooting and to having stashed extra loaded magazines in a backpack
He is a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which has about 3,000 students.
Cruz legally purchased an AR-15 rifle about a year ago, and he had joined the school’s U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program (JROTC).
Cruz has a history of mental illness. He was being treated at a mental health clinic but then stopped treatment, and his mother passed away around Thanksgiving, leaving him orphaned.
The troubled 19-year-old had also been expelled from the high school last year.