After daughter killed in Fla., ex-NJ mom’s emotional plea to Trump
WOODCLIFF LAKE — President Trump, do something!
Those were the emotional words uttered by the grieving mother of a 14-year-old girl killed Wednesday in the Florida school shooting.
Alyssa Alhadeff, who was a student at Stoneman Douglas High School, was one of 17 children and adults killed. She and her family had recently moved to the south from Woodcliff Lake in Bergen County.
"My prayers to former WCL resident Alyssa Alhadeff who lost her life in this senseless shooting. WCL and the Country mourns for you," borough Mayor Carlos Rendo said Thursday on Facebook.
Alyssa's mother, Lori, was seen on TV offering a passionate plea that left a CNN reporter choked up on the air.
"President Trump, you say what can you do? You can stop the guns from getting into these children's hands," she said. "Action! We need it now! These kids need safety now!"
Watch in the video below:
On Facebook, her mother remembered her daughter as "a talented soccer player, so smart, an amazing personality, incredible creative writer, and all she had to offer the world was love."
A knife is stabbed in my heart. I wish I could of taken those bullets for you. I will always love you and your memory will live on forever. Please kiss your children, tell them you love them, stand by them no matter what they want to be. To Alyssa’s Friends honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t ever give up and inspire for greatness. Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her. Alyssa loved you all forever!
The mother's statement was shared online by Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, R-Bergen, who added that she did "not want to engage in partisan BS."
"Whatever we need to do to try and prevent this from happening again we should," Schepisi said. "If raising the age of who can buy a gun works, let us do it. If raising the age on who can purchase violent video games works, let us do it. If everyone in a school system says, 'If there was going to be a school shooter it was him,' let us explore ways to intervene before that person becomes 'him.'"
Parkland Soccer Club posted on its Facebook page that Alhadeff was a "loved and well respected member of our club and community."
Gov. Phil Murphy, who supports stricter gun laws, ordered flags to fly at half staff on Feb. 20 in memory of the Flordia victims.
"My administration is committed not only to mourning the victims and their families but also to doing everything we can both to prevent these senseless and heartbreaking mass shootings from happening in our state and to end the epidemic of gun violence that plagues far too many of our communities," Murphy said in the text of his executive order.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, who had been expelled from the high school, has been identified as the gunman.
Authorities say the former Junior ROTC cadet bought a military-style AR-15 rifle. He also participated in paramilitary drills with a white nationalist organization, according to its leader, Jordan Jereb.
Jereb, head of the Republic of Florida, told The Associated Press on Thursday that his group seeks to create a white state. He said he didn't know Cruz personally but was told the young man had "trouble with a girl," and he suggested the timing of the Valentine's Day attack wasn't a coincidence.
However, the Leon County Sheriff's Office in Tallahassee, where the Republic of Florida is based, said it monitors the group's membership and has seen no ties between the organization and Cruz. Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan said the Republic of Florida has never had more than 10 members.
Students and neighbors, meanwhile, reported that Cruz threatened and harassed others, talked about killing animals, posed with guns in disturbing photos on social media, and bragged about target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.
In fact, schoolmates weren't surprised when Cruz was identified as the gunman
The Associated Press contribute to this report.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.