Demolition begins at site of Parkland school massacre

Posted at 6:26 PM, June 14, 2024 and last updated 11:10 AM, June 14, 2024

PARKLAND, Fla. (Scripps News) — Almost six years after the deadliest high school shooting in the country, the time capsule holding the pain is being demolished.

excavator removes a piece of a building

Crews start the demolition of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building, Friday, June 14, 2024, where 17 people died in the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. Officials plan to complete the weekslong project before the school’s 3,300 students return in August from summer vacation. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Demolition begins Friday morning for a three-story school building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Seventeen people were killed in a shooting there on Valentine’s Day in 2018.

Parents and family members of those who lost their lives in the shooting will be in attendance.

Because it will not be an implosion, the demolition process should take at least a week if not longer to complete.

While some have wanted the building gone for a while now, the demolition was stalled for several reasons.

The building had been preserved at the crime scene, then again as part of the trial against killer Nikolas Cruz, and once again for a reenactment in a lawsuit against the deputy acquitted just last year for not confronting the shooter.

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“It’s my anger, my grief, that pushes me forward every day, that I shouldn’t have to be going through this. None of Parkland should have been going through this. But that’s what I hope the members of Congress will understand, that if you don’t prioritize this issue, this is what happens,” said Max Schachter, father of shooting victim Alex Schachter.

Some also wanted the building to remain untouched until lawmakers toured the halls, with the hope of galvanizing them to enact stronger school security measures.

“Sometimes I think we’re numb to the fact that, ‘Oh, it’s another shooting that’s happened,’ and when you go through the halls, and you see the books, and you see the personal items that were there, it kind of brings home the fact that these were people, they had a life, they’re missed,” said Debbie Hixon, widow of victim Chris Hixon.

The school district said it’s time to get rid of the visible reminder and close the chapter for the wellbeing of the community.

Some parents said they’d like to see the site preserved and turned into a memorial park, but there are no solid plans yet for the location.