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These are the victims of the Florida school gun massacre

Seventeen people were killed in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

When a gunman opened fire  at a high school in south Florida, he claimed the lives of students with their whole lives ahead of them, along with those of the teachers who tried to protect them.

Here is a look at the 17 people who authorities say died in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday:

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Football coach Aaron Feis (Facebook/AP)

AARON FEIS

The assistant football coach was shot dead while selflessly shielding students from bullets.

A tweet from the school football programme ended: “He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”

The 37-year-old graduated from the school in 1999 and worked mainly with the junior varsity, the team website said. It said he lived in nearby Coral Springs with his wife and daughter.

The team website said Mr Feis spent his entire coaching career at Marjory Stoneman after playing there as a student.

The Sun Sentinel reported that Mr Feis, acting as a school security guard, responded to the original call on a school walkie-talkie.

Someone on the radio asked if loud sounds they heard were firecrackers, said football coach Willis May, who also carries a radio.

“I heard Aaron say ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That’s the last I heard of him,” Mr May said.

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JOAQUIN OLIVER

Joaquin, 17, was known by his nickname “Guac”, short for “guacamole,” because many could not pronounce his first name.

“My friend will literally never get to say ‘I graduated high school’,” said Tyra Hemans,  who said she had been friends with Joaquin since they were freshmen.

The 19-year-old said she last saw her friend at school on the day of the shooting.

“It was just a brief ‘Happy Valentine’s’, ” she said. “He was with his girlfriend and I was just like ‘Oh my God, you guys are so cute’.”

She added, “He’s just a goofball. He’s the only kid you’d know that would dye his hair bleach-blond, walk around school, put some tiger stripes in and just be unique. He was a unique soul.”

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School Shooting Victims

CHRIS HIXON

The married father-of-two and the athletic director at the school was not shy about jumping in wherever he was needed, said friend and one-time colleague Dianne Sanzari.

Mr Hixon, 49, belonged to a Roman Catholic church in Hollywood and the Archdiocese of Miami confirmed his death on Thursday.

When a volleyball team needed a fill-in coach, Mr Hixon took over;  and the same thing happened with the wrestling team, Ms Sanzari said.

And when the school needed someone to patrol the campus and monitor threats as a security specialist, Mr Hixon did that, too.

It was in that security role that he apparently came within range of the gunman.

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School Shooting Florida

MEADOW POLLACK

The 18-year-old’s parents called her phone repeatedly, only to hear it ring, as they kept an anxious vigil outside the hospital.

But on Thursday, her father, Andrew Pollack, confirmed that his daughter was among the dead, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Meadow had planned to attend Lynn University, her father said.

“Her life was taken way too soon and I have no words to describe how this feels,” friend Gii Lovito posted on Facebook.

Family friend Adam Schachtel said in a Facebook post that “an angel was taken away from us in that horrific tragedy … no words can be said so just prayers and sadness.”

ALYSSA ALHADEFF

An amateur soccer club said one of its players, Alyssa Alhadeff, was among the students killed in the attack.

Parkland Soccer Club posted on its Facebook page that the 14-year-old was a “loved and well-respected member of our club and community”.

The club posted a note it said was from her family which read: “To Alyssa’s Friends honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t ever give up and inspire for greatness. Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her. Alyssa loved you all forever!”

ALAINA PETTY

Fourteen-year-old Alaina Petty was among those who died, her family confirmed in a statement.

“It is important to sum up all that Alaina was and meant to her family and friends.

“Alaina was a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her. Alaina loved to serve,” the statement read, adding that she had joined volunteers who “rushed to the most heavily impacted areas of Florida to clean up and help rebuild the lives of those devastated by Hurricane Irma.

“Her selfless service brought peace and joy to those that had lost everything during the storm.”

Alaina was a Mormon who attended the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was a “valiant young member of the Coral Springs Ward”, church leader Stephen E Thompson wrote in an update.

SCOTT BEIGEL

Students said geography teacher Scott Beigel, 35, helped them enter a locked classroom to avoid the gunman and paid for the brave act with his life.

“If the shooter would have come into the room, I probably wouldn’t be speaking to you now,” student Kelsey Friend told Good Morning America.

Kelsey said that when she heard gunshots and realised it was not a drill, she followed other students toward the classroom.

Mr Beigel “unlocked the door and let us in”, she said. “I thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get a chance to.”

Student Bruna Oliveda said she saw Mr Beigel blocking the door.

“I don’t know how we’re alive,” she said.

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JAIME GUTTENBERG

Ninth-grader Jaime, 14, loved to dance and hoped to become an occupational therapist and mother, her aunt, Abbie Youkilis, said.

“She always looked out for the underdog and the bullied and she probably had been kind to the (former) student who shot her,” Ms Youkilis said in a written statement sent to the Associated Press.

Jaime leaves her parents, Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg, and brother Jesse.

Her father said in a Facebook post that he is “trying to figure out how my family gets through this”.

Ms Youkilis called for gun-control legislation, saying Jaime’s parents were “the world’s most loving and over-protective parents but they could not protect Jaime from the sickness that has gripped our country”.

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School Shooting Florida

MARTIN DUQUE

Martin Duque, 14, was one of Isaac Briones’ best friends.

“He was like, one of the nicest people I knew,” said the 15-year-old. “He was so caring.”

Isaac said he last saw Martin on the day of the shooting, during first period.

“We were just playing around, talking about jokes and stuff,” said Isaac, who was outside the school on Thursday with others holding a group of white balloons for the victims.

On Instagram, Miguel Duque wrote that words could not describe the pain of losing his brother.

He added: “I love brother Martin you’ll be missed buddy. I know you’re in a better place. Duques forever man I love you junior!!! R.I.P Martin Duque!”

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GINA MONTALTO

Gina was a 14-year-old freshman who participated in the winter colour guard squad at the school.

Friends and relatives posted tributes on Facebook, including her mother, Jennifer Montalto.

“She was a smart, loving, caring, and strong girl who brightened any room she entered. She will be missed by our family for all eternity,” said the post.

One of Gina’s colour guard instructors from middle school, Manuel Miranda, told the Miami Herald that she was “the sweetest soul ever”.

“She was kind, caring always smiling and wanting to help,” he added.

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NICHOLAS DWORET

The 17-year-old  had just committed to swim for the University of Indianapolis.

The college announced on Thursday that the senior student was among those killed in the mass shooting at his high school.

In a statement, UIndy swimming coach Jason Hite called Nicholas  an “energetic and very vibrant kind” who cheered for his soon-to-be university during a swimming meet last month.

“I spoke with his mom this morning, and she reiterated the fact that he was really looking forward to this next step in his life and becoming a Hound,” said Mr Hite.

“He really felt like he had a family in the team, and was really excited about what we’re doing up here.”

PETER WANG

Peter, a 15-year-old ROTC student at the high school, was not interested in status but wanted to help others, relatives said.

A cousin, Aaron Chen, told the Miami Herald that Peter was last seen holding a door open so others could get away from the gunman.

Friends and relatives first thought the teenager was just missing and checked with area hospitals. They later found out he had been killed.

“He wasn’t supposed to die,” Aaron told First Coast News.

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School Shooting Florida Victims

LUKE HOYER

Fifteen-year-old Luke was a loving, sweet person who loved basketball and “smiled all the time”, his aunt, Joan Cox, said.

“He was just a good kid … very loving and just enjoyed life,” said Ms Cox, of Greenville, South Carolina.

She said Luke’s parents, Gena and Tom Hoyer, searched for their son at hospitals before finally going to the law enforcement command centre, where they eventually learned he had died.

“It’s just a terrible thing,” added Ms Cox, who said the family – including Luke’s older sister Abby and brother Jake – spent Christmas with her and other relatives in South Carolina. “We just all pretty much can’t get over it.”

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School Shooting Florida

CARMEN SCHENTRUP

Carmen was remembered as a smart girl with a sweet smile.

In September, she was named one of 53 National Merit Scholarship Programme semi-finalists in the county and a classmate tweeted “we all praised for her intelligence”.

Cousin Matt Brandow posted on Facebook that the 16-year-old visited Washington State recently and said she wanted to go to the University of Washington. He asked:  “You like the rain?”

“She answers, I hate sweating in the humid Florida weather,” he wrote. “That’s when I knew you were perfect for Washington.”

HELENA RAMSAY

Helena was softly-spoken, but also smart and a go-getter, her cousin, Sefena Cooper, said .

The 17-year-old junior especially loved hanging out with friends and family, “and for this to happen is heartbreaking”, Ms Cooper said.

“Although somewhat reserved, she had a relentless motivation towards her academic studies and her soft warm demeanour brought the best out in all who knew her,” another relative, Curtis Page Jr, wrote on Facebook.

“She was so brilliant and witty, and I’m still wrestling with the idea that she is actually gone,” he wrote. “She would have started college next year.”

ALEX SCHACHTER

The trombone and baritone player was a “sweetheart of a kid”, according to a social media post by his family.

In honour of his 14-year-old freshman son, a relative of his father, Max Schachter, wrote on a gofundme page that he was starting a scholarship fund “to help other students experience the joys of music as well as fund increased security at schools”.

The message said: “Please help keep Alex’s spirit alive.”

CARA LOUGHRAN

Cara, 14, was 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.”

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