Jason Parker

‘It Shouldn’t Happened to Anyone’: Families of MSD Victims React to Weekend Mass Shootings

What to Know

  • Hixon, who announced she will run for the Broward County School Board next year, wonders if the works she has put in has been wasted.

Just under 18 months since a deadly mass shooting took place inside a Parkland high school, residents of the Broward County city who lost a family member during the 2018 incident watched the similar events take place in both El Paso and Dayton this weekend – events resulting in the deaths of 29 people and leaving dozens more injured.

“You hope that maybe they’re in surgery, maybe they are just hurt and they’re waiting for you to come here and then you get the word that they’re not waiting for you,” said Debbi Hixon, who lost her husband Chris in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

“It shouldn’t happen to anybody and it keeps happening and it just breaks your heart,” Hixon added. “You just want to scream at people ‘what are you doing?’ Why are we sitting around waiting to do something? We have to do it now.”

Hixon, who recently announced she will run for a seat on the Broward County School Board next year, wonders if the works she has put in – as well as the work of other families who had a loved one killed or injured – has gone to waste.

Politicians from across the state - including Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio among others - have expressed their condolences to those who lost loved ones this weekend.

The family of Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 people killed inside MSD, is also wrapping their minds around the tragedy.

“Ultimately, I think we really need to look at why young men are so angry and why are young men dropping out of society,” said her oldest brother Huck.

The Pollacks have been adamant that gun control is not the answer, a position that has put them at odds with the families of other MSD victims including Manuel Oliver – the father of victim Joaquin Oliver.

“We do have a second amendment and people it’s deeply rooted in peoples culture,” Pollack said. “To think people are going to hand over their weapons, it’s not the right way to think.”

This weekend, Manuel Oliver was in El Paso to unveil a mural to honor his son after his tragic death just a year and a half ago. Oliver sees things differently.

“As long as we don’t change the laws, as long as we don’t stand up together as communities nothing is going to happened,” he said during an interview with MSNBC on Sunday – on what would have been his son’s 19th birthday.

Contact Us