Parkland Shooting – 3 Years Later


Jessica Messina

February 14th, 2018, fourteen students and three staff members lost their lives at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Seventeen others were injured. Yet three years later, the trial remains in limbo and the families of the victims are unable to receive closure for their losses.

The Parkland shooting marks one of the deadliest shootings in America, creating a lasting impression on the country. It sparked a movement of social and political change that still stands today. While we reflect on the horrific events that occurred three years ago, it is important to remember and commemorate the lives we lost that day.

Martin Duque Anguiano, Alyssa Alhadeff, Nicholas Dworet, Jaime Guttenberg, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Scheentrup, Peter Wang, Chris Hixon, Aaron Feis, and Scott Beigel.

Alyssa Alhadeff was a freshman soccer player who dreamed of being on the U.S. women’s national soccer team. Nicholas Dworet died a month before his eighteen birthday. He was committed to the University of Indianapolis to swim and dreamed of making the Olympic swim team. Aaron Feis was the school’s football coach who died shielding students. He was a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and a well respected and loved member of the community. As the tragic shooting becomes a more distant memory for the nation, it is important to continue to remember each victim as an individual, rather than just a casualty of the past.

With this Valentine’s Day marking the three year milestone, the trial of Nikolas Cruz still remains in limbo. A large reason for this is the coronavirus pandemic which shut down court operations and made in-person jail access difficult for the defense. Another reason is the magnitude of the case, as there were hundreds of witnesses from the event. Though these reasons are valid, the case could be over by now. Cruz’s lawyers have stated that he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, but the defense continues to seek the death penalty. 

Parents of the victims are divided on whether Cruz should recieve the death penalty. The option for a long life was taken from the victims on that day, and some of the parents argue that Cruz’s death will bring no further closure than if he is locked away. As of now, no trial date has been set. The next hearing conducted will be a status conference held remotely on February 16th. 

The Parkland shooting was a tragic and devastating event that will not be forgotten in American history. The country should use it as an opportunity to grow and ensure that tragedies like this do not occur again. So, while enjoying Valentine’s Day this year, cherish your loved ones and take time to remember those who are not with us today.