Hundreds mourned the loss of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Athletic Director Chris Brent Hixon, who was buried with full military honors at the South Florida National Cemetery on Wednesday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Hixon, a 27-year Navy veteran who deployed twice to the Persian Gulf, was one of 17 people killed last week during the Parkland shooting.
“If you needed anything – a cup of sugar in the middle of the night, he would bring it to you,” Coral Springs High School Athletic Director Dan Jacob told ABC News. “Chris has a son with Down syndrome. He put needs of everyone else before his own.”
Hundreds of students – many wearing their sports team jerseys – came to the Nativity Catholic Church for the funeral mass prior to Hixon’s burial.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy and Dania Beach Mayor Tamara James also attended the service.
“We’re all a little bit better for having known Chris,” said Frank Valliere, Hixon’s coworker while working at South Broward. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was there, always, whenever there was a need. … He cared for all around him as if they were his own. … And he inspired his students to become coaches, teachers and to serve in the military. … When we heard [what happened at Douglas], we knew he’d be in the middle of the action.”
While Hixon’s flag-draped coffin was taken out of the church to head to the cemetery, a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.”