Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Apparently Dies By Suicide

Hayley Miller

A second student who survived last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has apparently died by suicide, police have confirmed.

The juvenile, whose name has not been released, died by an “apparent suicide” on Saturday night, Coral Springs police spokesman Tyler Reik told HuffPost. The deceased was a current student at the high school.

Detectives and the county medical examiner’s office are continuing to investigate the matter, Reik said.

The family of 19-year-old Sydney Aiello confirmed on Friday that she had died by suicide after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt after a former student opened fire on the high school last February, killing 17 people and injuring over a dozen others. 

Aiello had been close friends with Meadow Pollack, a Stoneman Douglas senior who was fatally shot during last year’s massacre.

David Hogg, a prominent Parkland shooting survivor turned gun violence activist, shared his grief on Twitter on Sunday.

“How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government / school district to do anything?,” the 18-year-old tweeted.

Broward County Public Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Though the details surrounding the second student’s death remain unclear, Dan Reidenberg, executive director of suicide prevention at SAVE, told HuffPost that PTSD and survivor guilt can be a factor in such situations.

“Teens facing graduations, proms, other major life events knowing that their friends will not be there due to the mass shooting can be really re-traumatized by life events,” he told HuffPost in an email.

Reidenberg said it’s important for adults, teachers and peers to understand youth suicide warning signs, which include changes in academic performance and statements of feeling like they don’t deserve to be alive.

“We need to try and minimise risk of contagion given the situation and media attention around the suicides,” he said.

“We don’t want to create panic or fear that this will keep happening, while making sure people know to reach out for help if they are struggling.”

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org