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Jewish students among victims of Florida shooting

A local news station named a Jewish student who had been killed in the attack as Jaime Guttenberg

    Shooting at high school In Parkland, Florida injures multiple people (Photo: Getty Images)
    Shooting at high school In Parkland, Florida injures multiple people (Photo: Getty Images)

    Jewish students are among the victims of the deadly shooting at a Florida high school.

    According to Rabbi Bradd Boxman of Kol Tikvah synagogue in Florida, at least four Jewish students are among the wounded, following the shooting which was reportedly carried out by a troubled ex pupil.

    He said that three of the wounded were from his Reform congregation in Boca Raton and were being treated in hospital, having already undergone surgery.

    A local news station named a Jewish student who had been killed in the attack as Jaime Guttenberg.

    Jaime’s parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg confirmed that their daughter was killed.

    She has been described by family and friends as a bright, outgoing and popular student, who was also a keen dancer.

    Jaime’s cousin Alexa Saka also paid tribute to “the most beautiful, kind-hearted, driven, funny and sweet girl.

    “You went out of your way to make everyone feel good and that smile... that smile lit up every single room you walked into.

    “I will always cherish the time we had together. I will never understand why you were taken from us so soon but you will never be gone. You hold such a special place in my heart. My sweet baby cousin, may you sleep with the angels tonight and always.”

    Jaime’s brother was at school during the shooting but made it home safe, according to the New York Daily News.

    According to Rabbi Boxman, the school has a big Jewish community.

    Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan, of Temple Beth Chai, was on hand to give support at the local Marriott Hotel, which turned into a meeting place for parents and students.

    He helped to counsel the children who had escaped during the shooting and support parents whose children were still missing.

    Rabbi Kaplan said at least one child from his congregation was among the dead, and another was missing.

    He told JTA: “It is chaos here and devastation. Everyone is just waiting and praying. No words can describe what happened here.”

    At least 17 people were killed and 16 injured when former student Nikolas Cruz reportedly went on a shooting rampage at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

    Mr Cruz, 19, posted troubling material on social media before the shooting spree according to a law enforcement official and former schoolmates.

    His maths teacher, Jim Gard, said: "We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus."

    Scott Israel, Broward County sheriff, said Mr Cruz had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for "disciplinary reasons."

    He added: "I don't know the specifics.”

    However Robert Runcie, Broward County school district superintendent, told reporters he was not aware Mr Cruz posed a threat to the school.

    Mr Runcie said: "Typically you see in these situations that there potentially could have been signs out there.

    "I would be speculating at this point if there were, but we didn't have any warnings. There weren't any phone calls or threats that we know of that were made."

    Sheriff Israel said Mr Cruz was taken into custody "without incident" and was "not a current student" at the school.

    Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, said it was appalled by the shooting.

    Mr Rosen continued: "This was the latest in a series of cowardly acts against innocent students, the deadliest school shooting since 26 people were killed at Connecticut school Sandy Hook in 2012. Attacks such as these have become far too frequent in the US and worldwide. 

    "As a society we need to fight the hate that breeds such intolerable and indiscriminate violence and ensure that our values of freedom and tolerance prevail.”

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