A second Parkland shooting survivor has died by suicide in less than one week, Florida authorities say.
The Miami Herald reported Sunday that a current Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student died in ‘an apparent suicide’ on Saturday night.
The student’s name has not been released but Coral Springs police spokesman Tyler Reik said it was a sophomore boy. The police investigation is ongoing.
The boy’s death comes less than a week after his classmate, 19-year-old Sydney Aiello, took her own life last Sunday.
Both students reportedly died of a gunshot to the head, bring the death toll from the Valentines Day 2018 attack to 19.
Ryan Petty, the father of 14-year-old Parkland victim Alaina Petty who founded a suicide prevention foundation called the Walk Up Foundation after his daughter’s death, told the Herald: ‘The issue of suicide needs to be talked about. This is another tragic example.’
Petty, who has partnered with Columbia University for his Foundation, added: ‘When you look at Columbine as an example, almost just as many students killed themselves after the fact than in the actual shooting. That needs to change.
‘We need to get them the help they need.’
MSD graduate and gun control activist David Hogg wrote on Twitter: ‘How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government / school district to do anything? Rip 17 + 2.’
A second Parkland shooting survivor has died by suicide less than one week after 19-year-old classmate Sydney Aiello (above) took her own life. The second victim has not been named but was identified as a male sophomore enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
The two suicides have brought the death toll from the Valentines Day 2018 shooting to 19
MSD graduate and gun control activist David Hogg responded to the news on Twitter
Sydney’s family said she had suffered from ‘survivor’s guilt’ and post-traumatic stress disorder after losing her best friend Meadow Pollack in the shooting that left 17 students and staff dead.
A GoFundMe page raising money for Sydney’s funeral expenses reached $60,896 on Saturday, surpassing the goal of $20,000.
Meadow’s grief-stricken family shared their heartbreak on having to bury yet another Parkland teenager.
‘It was devastating to bury another beautiful young person in Parkland today. Our community is going through tragedy again. Please keep the Aiello Family in your prayers,’ Hunter Pollack, Meadow’s brother, wrote on Twitter on Friday.
‘Rest in peace, Sydney. Please take care of my sister,’ he added.
Hunter Pollock pictured above with his sister Meadow who was killed in the deadly Parkland High School shooting that killed 17 staff and students
Sydney lost her best friend Meadow Pollock in the attack. Meadow’s brother took to Twitter to pay tribute to Sydney saying: ‘Rest in peace, Sydney. Please take care of my sister’
He paid tribute to Sydney who was best friends with Meadow while they attended Parkland High together
Meadow’s father Andrew Pollack, who has turned into a gun reform activist following the attack, told the Miami Herald his ‘heart goes out to those poor, poor parents’.
‘It’s terrible what happened. Meadow and Sydney were friends for a long, long time,’ he said.
‘Killing yourself is not the answer,’ he added.
Aiello died on Sunday at her home in Coconut Creek, Florida, suffering a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Broward County medical examiner’s office. Her funeral took place Friday.
Meadow’s father Andrew Pollock, who has become a gun reform activist following the Parkland shooting, also lamented Sydney’s death saying his ‘heart goes out to those poor, poor parents’
‘It’s terrible what happened. Meadow and Sydney were friends for a long, long time. Killing yourself is not the answer,’ Meadow’s father Andrew Pollock said on Sydney’s death. Meadow pictured left smiling with Sydney
She graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, one month after the devastating shooting that killed 17 students and staff and shook the nation.
She went on to study at Florida Atlantic University, but struggled to attend college classes because she was afraid of being in a classroom.
Her mother Cara Aiello said her daughter was on campus at Marjory when Cruz opened fire, but was not in the Freshman Building.
Following the shooting Sydney was often sad but didn’t ask for help before she killed herself.
In June 2018 on Facebook she a post about Robin Williams, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain – all of whom have committed suicide in the past few years. The post said ‘Sometimes you need to check on those who seem the strongest’.
Sydney is survived by her parents Cara and Joe, and her brother Nick. She loved yoga and according to her mother, wanted to dedicate her life to helping others.
A GoFundMe page raising money for her funeral expenses has crossed the $60,000 mark as of Saturday as loved ones filled the comments section, remembering Sydney as a beloved cheerleader who loved ‘brightening up the days of others’.
‘Sydney spent 19 years writing her story as a beloved daughter, sister and friend to many. She lit up every room she entered. Sydney aspired to work in the medical field helping others in need.’
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.