PIQUA — Two baseball players at Edison State Community College are still feeling the impact of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after having graduated from the school last year.
“I still can’t believe that it happened,” Gustavo Bonilla said. Bonilla is a catcher on the Edison State Chargers baseball team and is currently studying physical therapy at Edison. His hometown was Juncos, Puerto Rico, before moving to Florida and attending high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The shooting, which happened on Feb. 14, took the lives of 17 people.
Bonilla had class with two of the victims, including Meadow Pollack, 18, who had been accepted at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Bonilla also knew the football coach Aaron Feis, 37, who was reported to have been killed while shielding other students from oncoming bullets.
“I have friends — very close friends — still going there,” Bonilla said. After the mass shooting, going to school is now a different experience for them. “It’s still not the same … They’re still afraid it might happen again.”
Bonilla said that the shooting left a big impact on him as well as “I never thought that would happen,” Bonilla said. “It’s been kind of hard still to get over it,” he said.
He said that one of the buildings where the shooting occurred was for freshmen, as a number of the victims were in their early teens. “They didn’t live long enough to enjoy life,” Bonilla said.
Bonilla’s experience at Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a happy one, as he said everybody was friends there.
“It was a very good experience. It was a very good school,” Bonilla said. He added later, “That school has been amazing and done a lot for my career.”
Leamsi Bermundez, an outfielder/infielder on the Edison State Chargers baseball team, echoed similar sentiments, saying he had a good experience at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
“That school was like a family,” Bermundez said.
Bermundez is originally from Patillas, Puerto Rico, before moving to Florida and also attending high school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Bermundez is currently pursuing an associate of science degree at Edison.
“My friend’s brother got killed,” Bermundez said, referring to Martin Duque Anguiano, 14. “It was sad. I couldn’t believe it at first.”
Anguiano was a freshman and a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Martin’s brother Miguel, on a Go Fund Me page set up for the family, said, “He was a very funny kid, outgoing but sometimes really quiet. He was sweet and caring and loved by everyone in his family. Most of all, he was my baby brother.”
In talking to his friends still attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas, “I told them, be strong,” Bermundez said.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336
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