‘I miss him’: Tears flow during last day of Parkland victim impact statements

Victim impact statements in the Parkland school shooter’s penalty phase had many in the Broward County courtroom in tears on Thursday afternoon.

The first witness was Anne Ramsay, the mother of Helena Ramsey, one of the 17 victims Nikolas Cruz killed on Feb. 14, 2018, at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building.

Anne Ramsay said her “brave, beautiful and one of a kind” 17-year-old daughter died on her father Vinnie Ramsay’s birthday.

“That day will never be a celebration and could never be the same for him, and now it’s filled with pain, as is every day,” Anne Ramsay said.

The afternoon’s second witness was 15-year-old Peter Wang’s mother, Hui Zhang, who had her niece read her statement. The third witness was his cousin Aaron Chang who said he was in denial when Peter was killed and he still remembers his parents’ cries.

Debbie Hixon, the widow of Christopher Hixon, 49, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

“We miss his compassion, but mostly we miss the sense of safety and security that he gives everyone around him,” she said.

Christopher Hixon was a trained military police officer. The school’s athletic director and security monitor died after rushing into the 1200 building.

“He was an extraordinary man living an ordinary life,” the grieving widow said.

The Hixon’s 26-year-old son Corey Hixon walked up to the stand wearing a burgundy bow tie. He lives with Kabuki Syndrome, a developmental disability, and with his mother’s help, he kept it simple.

“I miss him,” he told the jury before hugging his mother and adding that he used to walk with his father to get donuts on Saturdays.

Thomas Hixon, the son of Christopher Hixon, also read his victim impact statement. He said his children will have to grow up without ever meeting their grandfather. He said his father was his first salute when he became an officer of the U.S. Marine Corps in 2014.

“Military service was a bond as father and son and I was a better Marine and leader because of what he taught me,” he said adding, “He will always be remembered for his courage, his leadership, and his humor.”

Thomas Hixon said he took care of his father’s uniform before the funeral.

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Jurors listened to testimony from the families of Peter Wang, Helena Ramsey and Christopher Hixon on Thursday in Broward County court.

Watch the 4 p.m. report

The list of the prosecution’s witnesses included the 17 injured — a teacher and 16 students — and there were also 33 witnesses who presented emotional statements about the 17 killed.

Watch the 3 p.m. report

Victim impact statements in the Parkland school shooter’s penalty phase had many in the Broward County courtroom in tears on Thursday afternoon.

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