Families remember victims of high school shooting as they lay them to rest

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - Family members and loved ones of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are continuing the painful process of laying their loved ones to rest.

Tuesday featured several more somber funerals for the families of Peter Wang, Gina Montalto and Carmen Schentrup.

Cara Loughran’s funeral is scheduled for later in the week and will be private. It was previously reported as having occurred Tuesday, but the funeral home has since clarified.

Parents buried their children and students said their final goodbyes to classmates.

“I just don’t think it’s OK that we’re 18, 16, 14 years old and we’re going to our friends, family, neighbors, siblings, funerals,” said Vanessa Perez, who attended a funeral.

Hundreds came out to honor Wang in Coral Springs, Tuesday. The 15-year-old freshman was a member of the JROTC and was described as funny, caring and selfless. He had dreams of going to West Point Military Academy.

“It’s very devastating,” said family friend Lina Tam. “This is horrible for all of us.”

Before Wang lost his life in the shooting, he was seen in uniform and holding the door, allowing others to escape.

“He died in uniform,” said a friend, Victoria Downing. “He definitely saved people’s lives. He deserves to have a full military burial.”

An online petition has gathered thousands of signatures asking for him to be buried with full military honors.

West Point has posthumously accepted him into the academy, Tuesday. His coffin was draped with the American flag.

“He died a hero,” said family friend Cam Hoang. “He kept the door open for his friends so his friends could be safe.”

Senior Nicholas Dworet’s visitation will also be held Wednesday morning in North Lauderdale.

In Parkland, a funeral was held for Montalto. Hundreds also came out to remember the 14-year-old.

Montalto’s parents said she was a special girl who melted each heart with an infectious smile that lit up a room. She was a member of the Winter Guard at Stoneman Douglas High School.

To honor her memory, her family has established a scholarship fund to help other students attend college. So far, it has raised more than $218,000.

“I lost three friends in the attack, and there’s no chance I’m ever forgetting them or the other 14 victims,” said Jared Burns. “This has changed everything. Nothing’s going to ever be normal. Nothing could be.”

Schentrup was also laid to rest Tuesday.

Remembered as a smart and beautiful young woman, the 16-year-old girl was named one of 53 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county in September.

A classmate tweeted “we all praised for her intelligence.”

“She deserved a lot of love,” said Schentrup’s friend Isabella Gallego.

Loved ones said Schentrup was a brave, resilient and ambitious young woman who actually overcame major surgery to her leg when she was 12 years old.

“As parents, we loved that she never outgrew our hugs and would hug us before she went to bed. We miss her hugs. Carmen was funny and witty in novel ways. When she got on a roll, we’d laugh until tears rolled down our cheeks. We miss her making us laugh.”

Schentrup had dreams of going to the University of Washington to study medical science and find a cure for ALS.

On Tuesday, friends and family paid their respects at viewings for Coach Aaron Feis and athletic director Chris Hixon.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel called Feis a phenomenal man. Meanwhile, Hixon’s players said he was a father figure to them.

Loughran was a young woman with big dreams. Those who knew her said she was an honor roll student who was passionate about her family, friends, gymnastics, surfing and Irish dancing.

The students at Stoneman Douglas vowed that they would never forget the 17 lives that were lost, and have turned the tragedy into a movement to make change.

“We have the power to change everything, and I feel like this shooting is going to be different than any other shooting ’cause we’re done with this. No more. This is it,” Perez said. “This is going to be the last one.”

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