A 15-year-old victim of Wednesday’s high school shooting in Florida died a hero while holding the door open for his fellow students as they fled from gunman Nickolas Cruz.
Teenage Peter Wang was one of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland, Florida who were fatally shot in the brutal attack by the accused 19-year-old assailant.
Witnesses told of how Wang, who was part of the Royal Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, had selflessly held open the door to enable others to flee before himself.
Peter’s bereft cousin, Aaron Chan, was in the school at the time of the shooting and saw Wang helping classmates to escape while dressed in his grey ROTC uniform.
“He wasn’t supposed to die. He was supposed to grow old with me,” Aaron told First Coast News.
“He is so funny, caring and selfless,” added Lin Chen, Wang’s 24-year-old cousin.
Chen, who flew in from Louisiana to be with the family, continued: “He is so brave. He is the person who is genuinely kind to everyone. He doesn’t care about popularity. He always liked to cheer people up. He is like the big brother everyone wished they had.
“I feel the family can never be the same,” said Chen.
Police say Cruz, an expelled former student, was heavily armed when he began his massacre at the Florida high school.
He entered the premises wearing a gas mask and armed with a rifle, smoke grenades and ammunition, setting off a fire alarm so that students would leave the classrooms and come out into the corridors.
“I heard about six gunshots and then some people started running,” Student Jeiella Dodoo told CBS News. “And then everyone started running because we were like, ‘If it’s real, then just run’.”
Cruz killed three people outside the school, before gaining access through one of the school’s teaching buildings and killing a further 12.
Two others died from their injuries later on at nearby hospitals.
The attacker has now confessed to police.
“Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds,” a court document read.
He has appeared in front of court, charged with all 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Cruz, who was described by former classmates as an ‘outcast’ and ‘crazy about guns’, had previously been expelled from the school.
The FBI has admitted it received a tip-off about him last year.
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