Athletic director among those killed in Parkland school shooting

Chris Hixon gave his life to protect students, superintendent says

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor

Athletic director Chris Hixon was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

PARKLAND, Fla. - Athletic director Chris Hixon was among those killed in Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie confirmed Hixon's death Thursday.
Runcie said Hixon and assistant football coach Aaron Feis "gave their lives" to protect the students.

Hixon, who also served as the school's wrestling coach, was the Broward County Athletic Association's athletic director of the year in 2017.

During Hixon's tenure the Eagles won a state championship in baseball in 2016.

He previously served as athletic director at South Broward High School before taking over at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

When the school needed someone to patrol the campus and monitor threats as a security specialist, Hixon took the job.

It was in that security role that Hixon apparently came within range of the shooter.

Authorities identified the shooter as former student Nikolas Cruz. The 19-year-old was arrested on 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Social studies teacher Greg Pittman spoke to Local 10 News reporter Amy Viteri about his colleagues who lost their lives. Pittman said they were "in the wrong place" at the wrong time and didn't have any way to defend themselves, because "they're coaches and they're teachers."

He then challenged Congress to do something about the rise of guns in schools.

"Congress and our state Legislature need to change these laws," Pittman said. "I don't want to hear this is not the time. I don't want to hear it's not the place. When the hell is it? How many more people have to die before you decide that we don't need to protect the gun industry?"

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