First Funerals Held For Students Killed In Parkland Shooting

Feb 18, 2018
Originally published on February 16, 2018 7:35 pm

The first funerals for students killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were held on Friday.

At Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, mourners remembered 18-year-old Meadow Pollack.

Hundreds of vehicles and white-and-green Broward Sheriff squad cars lined the sunny road outside the synagogue where family, friends and teachers gathered to remember Meadow.

Many of the black-clad mourners wore burgundy ribbons – one of the school’s colors – on their lapels. A photo on a prayer card showed a smiling girl with pink-painted nails in a burgundy graduation gown. She was supposed to graduate later this year. 

During the service, a father's grief and anger boiled over.

Andrew Pollack looked down from the altar at the coffin of his 18-year-old daughter Meadow and yelled: "You killed my kid!" The father was referring to Nikolas Cruz, the former student who recently confessed of gunning down Pollack and 16 others Wednesday at the school.

Pollack told some 1,000 mourners present that he was very angry and upset. He added: "My kid is dead ... This is just unimaginable that I will never see my princess again."

Meadow's funeral came shortly after a service for 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff.

Douglas Hinsey accompanied his daughter Brooke to that service. She attends another high school, but played soccer with Alyssa.

Hinsey said Alyssa's absence will be felt.

“Alyssa’s an excellent role model. She taught Brooke a lot of things. And it’s a shame,” he said.

Hinsey said attending Alyssa's funeral brought him and his daughter closure.

“For the last 48 hours, it’s been very difficult to just fathom that you lose somebody like that in this world, especially when they’re younger than you,” he said. “And then once you get past the hurdle of what everybody is experiencing in there today, it sort of puts closure.”

The funeral procession for Meadow left the Congregation Kol Tikvah around 2 p.m. Shortly after, faculty and staff from Marjory Stoneman Douglas had a meeting just across the parking lot at Parkland City Hall.

Some came from grief counseling at the city library. Officials said they offered the spaces because the high school remains closed. Lawmakers have said they will provide resources to tear down the building where the shooting took place.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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