Two Parkland students and one Sandy Hook father gone due to suicide

Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, placing hand-painted stones at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas “Project Grow Love” memorial on the Anniversary of the school shooting.

National Public Radio

Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, placing hand-painted stones at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas “Project Grow Love” memorial on the Anniversary of the school shooting.

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In the span of just one week, two survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Feb. of 2018 and one father whose six-year-old daughter died in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Dec. of 2012 have committed suicide.

One of the two Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who survived the shooting last year committed suicide due to “survivor’s guilt,” according to the victim’s mother.

Sydney Aiello, 19, was a cheerleader at Stoneman Douglas who graduated in 2018. She was close friends with Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 victims. The massacre and the loss of her friend profoundly affected Aiello and she was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Aiello was a freshman attending Florida Atlantic University. She took her life on March 17.

A former history teacher described her as “nice and always smiling and talkative.”

“She was always eager to say hello to everybody in the hallway,” the history teacher said.

The other Parkland survivor, Calvin Desir, 16, was a freshman when the shooting occurred, Desir took his life on March 23. His suicide has yet to be publicly identified. Calvin’s sister, Brittany Wright, set up a GoFundMe Page to support his funeral costs.

“He wanted to be an engineer. It inspired him to always find new projects around the house to challenge his skills. 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,” Wright said.

Jeremy Richman, 49, was a loving father who lost his daughter, Avielle, in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. After the shooting, Richman co-founded The Avielle Foundation, a non-profit organization named after his daughter that focuses on preventing violence.  He died of an apparent suicide on the morning of March 25 and was found in his Connecticut office building, Newtown police reported.

In 2013, Richman and his wife told CNN about how they were coping and his desire to give back.

“Jeremy’s mission will be carried on by the many who love him, including many who share the heartache and trauma that he has suffered since December 14, 2012,” The Avielle Foundation said.

“We are crushed to pieces, but this important work will continue, because, as Jeremy would say, we have to.”

If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.