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Father of Parkland shooting victim advocates for safer schools in Marion County

Published: Jul. 29, 2019 at 10:45 PM EDT
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Marion County residents had the opportunity Monday night to hear from a father of one of 17 people killed in the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in South Florida.

He's turning tragedy in triumph, sharing his heartbreaking story with millions across the country.

Max Schachter is the father of Alex Schachter, one of the 17 people who died during the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018.

"I'm hoping that he's looking down on me from heaven and I hope he's happy with the things that I'm trying to do, keep his memory alive and make sure that these 17 beautiful angels that passed away didn't die in vain,” Schachter said.

He engages with schools and communities all over the country, telling his son's story.

Monday he stopped in Marion County to do just that.

"I like the idea that this is here to help the community because it's scary getting that call not knowing and I don't know how I could cope if, god forbid, if it was in my shoes if it would have been my child,” said concerned parent Lillian Lewando.

He was invited by Superintendent Heidi Maier after she heard him speak in Tallahassee earlier this year.

"Then he took the stage and he spoke and he shared from the heart and he shared not only the story of the massacre of Parkland but he shared a story of hope and that we can change things and we certainly can prevent this from ever happening again,” Maier said.

He spoke about his son, walking the audience through that tragic day, hoping that no one else has to suffer from the loss of a loved one to an active shooter.

"The take away is that we know the next murderer is out there. We know the next gun he's going to use is already out there. We can't just wait for law enforcement to show up. Everyone in the school, everyone in the community has to take an active role in the safety and security of our fellow citizens,” Schachter said.

Schachter's next stop will be to Washington D.C. to continue advocating for safer schools.

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