A 16-year-old Parkland shooting survivor has died of apparent suicide less than a week after his classmate -- another survivor -- passed away under similar circumstances.
Calvin Desir, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, reportedly died of a gunshot to the head on Saturday, March 23, Daily Mail reports.
Calvin Desir. | Photo: GoFundMe/Calvin Lives
The late teen was one of many students who witnessed the horrific shooting of classmates and faculty members at their school by gunman Nikolas Cruz on February 14, 2018.
Desir has been described as a “respectable young man” who had hoped to become an engineer someday.
His sister, Brittany Wright, wrote in the description of a GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral expenses:
“As his older sister, I had the pleasure of watching Calvin grow from a child to a respectable young man. He was a fellow student at Stoneman Douglas with strong aspirations of one day becoming an engineer, which inspired him to always find new projects around the house to challenge his skills.”
Wright added that some of her brother’s hobbies include bike riding, shopping, cooking, doing yard work, and spending “quality time” with his siblings.
“I can tell you firsthand that he was one of a kind, very soft-spoken, and never once hurt a fly. If you ever asked him to do the simplest task, he was right on it,” she finished. “Calvin Desir was truly special to us all and will forever live on in our hearts. We love you, Calvin!”
“After visiting with [his] wonderful family today, I got a sense of what a great young man he was,” Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie tweeted a day after the tragedy. “Please hold up this family in your prayers.”
The same day, MSD graduate and gun control activist David Hogg, also reacted to the incident 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”
Last year, gunman Nikolas Cruz shot to death 14 students and three faculty members of MSD in what is now known as one of the deadliest school shootings in America.
Desir’s suicide brings the Parkland shooting death toll to 19 after Sydney Aiello took her own life earlier in the same week.
Aiello lost her best friend Meadow Pollack in the deadly shooting and according to her family, went on to suffer “survivor’s guilt,” the persistent mental and emotional stress “that people experience when they’ve survived a life-threatening situation and others might not have.”
Aiello, 19, graduated from high school in 2018 but could never get over her friend’s death, and eventually, on March 17, she died of an apparent suicide after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
Following Desir’s death, over 60 school, county, city, child services, and law enforcement officials, as well as mental health specialists, teachers and parents, met for an emergency meeting in Coral Springs, Broward County, according to Miami Herald.
Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, was murdered in the Parkland shooting last year, told the outlet:
“The issue of suicide needs to be talked about. This is another tragic example. They will be asking parents to take this issue seriously. Parents cannot be afraid to ask their kids the tough questions.”
The school district will reportedly give parents the “Columbia Protocol,” a set of six questions to evaluate their children’s suicide risk, as well as a list of emergency resource options to cater to every risk level.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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