Family and friends have identified the second Parkland shooting survivor who committed suicide this past week as 16-year-old Calvin Desir.
Desir, 16, was a sophomore at Marjory-Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, opened fire, killing 17 students and staffers in a bloody Valentine’s Day massacre in 2018.
Coral Springs Police said they received a call about a shooting Saturday and confirmed that Desir had taken his own life, CBS Miami reported. His death comes just a week after fellow Marjory-Stoneman survivor Sydney Aiello, 19, also died by suicide.
Authorities initially hadn’t released his name, but a GoFundMe page created by Desir’s sister, Brittany Wright, identified him.
“My family is grieving over the loss of a wonderful and amazing son, brother, nephew, and friend, Wright wrote. “We’re raising money to support all funeral cost for my brother. As his older sister, I had the pleasure of watching Calvin grow from a child to a respectable young man. He was a 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.”
“Calvin was so loving and well loved by all his peers and family,” his sister continued. “He enjoyed riding his bike with his friends, shopping, cooking and trying new recipes with his mom, performing yard work and various chores with his dad, [and] spending quality time with our baby sister and I. Calvin Desir was truly special to us all and will forever live on in our hearts. We love you Calvin!”
Though there’s been no confirmation Desir suffered from survivor’s remorse like Aiello’s family said she had, the suicide of a second student who lived through the deadly mass shooting has prompted local leaders to address the psychological trauma caused by the tragedy.
On Wednesday, the city of Coral Springs will host a Mental Health and Suicide town hall in light of the recent incidents. Parents and community members have also gathered in the last week to discuss ways to help young people who may be contemplating suicide.
“The City of Coral Springs recognizes the anxiety and suffering continues for the students, teachers and families who have experienced such violence and devastating loss,” according to a statement posted on Coral Springs Police Department’s Facebook page. “In the span of one week we lost two teens from MSD to an apparent suicide.”
It continued: “We simply cannot let the events of that day take the lives of any more of our children. As a City we are committed to shining a light on those who suffer in the darkness. The mental health of our children and all those who have been affected by the MSD tragedy must be made a priority.”
The tragedies of mass shootings have had far-reaching affects. On Monday, the father of a first-grader who was among the 26 people killed in the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was also found dead of an apparent suicide. Authorities said Jeremy Richman took his life outside the building that housed the foundation he created in his daughter Avielle’s memory.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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