Belfast Telegraph

Florida school shooting: Condolences for Northern Ireland family after girl killed

Condolences have been paid to a Northern Ireland family who lost a young girl in the Florida school shooting.

Seventeen people died after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of murder. Police say he has admitted carrying out the attack.

President Trump is set to meet with families and survivors of the devastating attack.

Cara Loughran (14) was among those killed in the massacre. Her brother who is also a student at the school and is thought to have witnessed the attack but survived.

It's understood their family is from Toomebridge and their grandmother still lives in the Co Antrim village. Their father is thought to have emigrated 15 years ago.

The tight-knit community was said to be shocked at the news and offered its condolences to the family.

TUV leader Jim Allister expressed his sympathies to the family.

"Condolences to local family in Toome after cruel murder of their granddaughter in Florida school attack," he said.

"Awful news for a family to receive."

Cara was described as an excellent student who loved the beach and her cousins, according to her family.

An aunt, Lindsay Fontana, wrote on Facebook: “I had to tell my 8-year-old daughters that their sweet cousin Cara was killed in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday. We are absolutely gutted.”

“While your thoughts are appreciated, I beg you to DO SOMETHING,” she wrote. “This should not have happened to our niece Cara and it cannot happen to other people’s families.”

Cara’s neighbour posted a picture of her cheering on a young boy riding a bike with training wheels.

“RIP Cara,” Danny Vogel wrote, “and fly with the angels. You will be greatly missed, and we will always love you and celebrate your beautiful life.”

This morning, I had to tell my 8-year-old daughters that their sweet cousin Cara was killed in the shooting at Stoneman...

Posted by Lindsay Fontana on Thursday, February 15, 2018

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