School shooting victim was passionate about Irish dance

Cara Loughran 'was an excellent student'

PARKLAND, Fla. – Cara Loughran, who was a student of the Drake School of Irish Dance in Coral Springs and was a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, died in the massacre in Parkland Wednesday. She was 14. 

Cara would have celebrated her 15th birthday Feb. 21. But a 19-year-old gunman, who authorities identified as Nikolas Cruz, shot her with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. 

"She was an excellent student," Her aunt Lindsay Fontana wrote on Facebook. " She loved the beach."

Cara also liked to learn about her Irish heritage. She had relatives in Northern Ireland's County Antrim's village of Toomebridge who were also in mourning. 

"Cara was a beautiful soul and always had a smile on her face," the Drake School of Irish Dance's announcement said. 

Her brother, Liam Loughran, 17, was also a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student. He survived the shooting.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.