PARKLAND, FLA. — The school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. that took the lives of 17 people is reaching close to home as a 1964 Piqua graduate is mourning the loss of her grandson.
Alex Schachter, 14, grandson of former Piqua resident and graduate Reesa Brotkin Schachter, was one of the 17 victims who lost their lives in the Feb. 14 mass shooting.
“I miss him,” said Reesa Brotkin Schachter, who graduated from Piqua Central High School in 1964 and is currently living in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Schachter said that Alex was a “wonderful, happy kid” from a happy family.
“He loved being in the band,” Schachter said.
Playing in the band ran in the family as a number of Alex’s family members played in the band, including Schachter and Alex’s grandfather. She recounted a story from Alex’s grandfather that he told at Alex’s funeral, which was held Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Coral Springs at Heron Bay in Florida. When Alex was trying to decide which instrument to play in the band, he asked his grandfather what he used to play, which was the trombone.
“His grandfather said … before he knew it, Alex was playing the trombone,” Schachter said.
Schachter said that Alex came from a big family, who are all grieving Alex’s passing.
“I think my son is tormented right now,” Schachter said.
Alex lost his mother when he was 4 years old when she died suddenly from a heart condition, Schachter said. His father Max later remarried, and Schachter said that Alex became close with his step-family as well.
“He loved his family very, very much,” Schachter said. She added later, “Alex had a very happy childhood.”
In light of this tragedy, Schachter encouraged more legislation on gun control.
“Please get gun control, and I don’t mean to take away the guns,” Schachter said. She encouraged increased gun control in order to protect other children, saying, “It doesn’t matter what side you’re on.”
Schachter also encouraged use of metal detectors.
“Let’s spend some money on metal detectors and not a parade,” Schachter said. “I think that would really have helped.”
The suspected shooter of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is Nikolas Jacob Cruz, 19, who was taken into custody shortly after the incident. He is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The family started a GoFundPage at www.gofundme.com/55jm4g8.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336