Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Steve Hansen

Let these names be remembered


February 21, 2018

There were 17 victims and six heroes, three of whom were also victims, in last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

Theirs are the names we should know, so I’m going to repeat them. All but three were teenagers who will never see the adulthood they were approaching.

Victims who were also heroes, from the New York Times, CNN and Fox News:

Peter Wang,15, was last seen in his Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps uniform, holding a door open so others could escape the gunfire.

Football coach Aaron Feis threw himself in front of students as shots rang out. He died in surgery after suffering a gunshot wound.

Geography teacher Scott Beigel unlocked his classroom to help students avoid the gunman, and he paid for the brave act with his life.

The other victims (from the New York Times:

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, a student athlete, a soccer player.

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, “very funny kid, outgoing and really quiet. Most of all he was my baby brother,” said his brother Miguel.

Nicholas Dworet, 17, a promising swimmer being recruited by colleges.

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, danced nonstop and gave warm treatment to her nephew, who has special needs.

Christopher Hixon, 49, the school’s athletic director.

Luke Hoyer, 15, a hopeful basketball player who had enjoyed a visit with extended family over Christmas in South Carolina.

Cara Loughran, 14, loved the beach. She adored her cousins. And she was an excellent student, her family said.

Gina Montalto, 14, a member of the school’s winter color guard team.

Joaquin Oliver, 17, played basketball in a recreational league and wrote poetry.

Alaina Petty, 14, had helped do cleanup work in Florida after Hurricane Irma and did volunteer work for her church.

Meadow Pollack, 18, a senior headed for Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, next year.

Helena Ramsay, 17, was smart, kindhearted and thoughtful, but with “relentless motivation toward her academic studies.”

Alex Schachter, 14, played the trombone in the championship Stoneman Douglas marching band, and was proud to have participated in winning a state championship last year.

Carmen Schentrup, 16, a 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, was the smartest 16-year-old that her cousin, Matt Brandow, had ever met.

Other heroes, according to CNN and Fox News:

Melissa Falkowski, a journalism teacher, huddled 19 students in a closet while gunfire rang in the halls to ensure their safety until police officers escorted them out of the building.

Shanthi Viswanathan led her students to a corner and covered the classroom window with a large piece of paper.

An unnamed school janitor guided students away from the shooter and into a classroom where they hid until the building was cleared.

Oh, by the way, a loser with a gun fetish did the shooting. His name is out there, but you’ll have to get it somewhere else.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:




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