Father of Jewish Teen Murdered in Florida High School Shooting Urges Parents to ‘Hold Your Children Tight’
The father of a Jewish student killed in the Florida high school mass shooting on Wednesday is asking fellow parents to appreciate every moment they have with their children.
“Hugs to all and hold your children tight,” Fred Guttenberg said in a Facebook post on Thursday, following news that his daughter, 14-year-old Jamie Guttenberg, was among 17 people who died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on students. Jamie’s brother, Jesse, is also a student at the Parkland, Florida school and survived the shooting unharmed.
“My heart is broken” Fred also said. “Yesterday, [my wife] Jennifer and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school. We lost our daughter and my son Jesse lost his sister. I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this.”
Jamie was a dancer at Dance Theatre of Parkland and a freshman at her high school. Rabbi Mendy Gutnick, youth director at Chabad of Parkland, told Chabad.org that Douglas High School is at least 40 percent Jewish. JNS.org noted that at least four more Jews were listed among the injured in the school shooting.
Wednesday’s incident was the second deadliest shooting in a US public school after the 2012 massacre of 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The deadliest school shooting in US history was at Virginia Tech in 2007 in which 32 people were killed.
Cruz is due in court on Thursday to face 17 counts of premeditated murder.