Texas shooting hits close to home for Parkland families, survivors

PARKLAND, Fla. – The massacre at a Texas elementary school that left at least 19 students and 2 adults dead Tuesday is hitting close to home with families and survivors of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland.

Local 10 News spoke to Tom Hoyer, whose son, Luke, was killed in the tragedy, who said he knows the pain families in Uvalde are experiencing.

“I know what the families had to endure sitting in that room waiting to hear their child was laying in school on the floor,” Hoyer said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

“I hope their journey through all of this is a lot faster than ours,” he added.

Tony Montalto, president and founder of Stand with Parkland, told Local 10 News Tuesday night the news out of Uvalde was a painful reminder of losing his daughter.

“Sadly, it brings us back to the day that Gina was murdered in her high school, along with her classmates and teachers,” Montalto said.

Parkland families and survivors also spoke on national television Wednesday morning, expressing their frustration at seeing yet another school massacre happen in America.

“This is not an exception,” Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was killed in the shooting, told CNN. “I wish I could be surprised about what happened yesterday, but we live in a society that shows us that we shouldn’t be surprised by this.”

Parkland survivor and activist David Hogg called for change.

“I think Americans are tired of the division and just debating this issue,” Hogg said in an interview with CNN. “We’ve been debating this since before I was born. I was born the year after Columbine happened.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Parkland shooting, expressed bewilderment at the lack of action following continued tragedies involving gun violence.

“I can’t believe there’s gonna be 18 families planning funerals along with all the other collateral damage,” Guttenberg said. “Did they have other kids in the school who experienced this? Why do we let this happen? This isn’t normal.”

About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.