Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Nicholas Dworet would have turned 18 on Saturday
Nicholas Dworet would have turned 18 years old on Saturday, his friends revealed during the March For Our Lives event in Washington, DC.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior was one of 17 people killed on February 14 when gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AK-47 inside the Parkland, Florida school.
Samantha Fuentes, who was shot in both legs and hit with shrapnel in her face, gave a heartbreaking speech at the rally pleading for stricter gun laws. She then asked the crowd of 500,00 people to help her sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in honor of her friend, ABC News reports.
‘I have one more request. Today is March 24, March for Our Lives. But it also the birthday of Nick Dworet. Someone that was senselessly murdered in front of me,’ she said.
As the large crowd sang, some teens held each other and cried. Fuentes got emotional but continued to sing.
Earlier on Saturday, student Cameron Kasky read the names of all 17 people killed in the shooting. He saved Dworet’s name for last.
Samantha Fuentes (right) led a crowd of people at the March For Our Lives event in DC in an emotional sing-along of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Dworet
500,000 teens and adults turned out for the March For Our Lives event in Washington, DC
The rally was to plead for stricter gun laws after 17 people were killed on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
‘And I saved Nicholas for the end, because today is Nicholas’ birthday,’ Kasky said. ‘Nicholas, we are all here for you. Happy birthday.’
Dworet’s family said in a statement that the teen was the captain of Marjory Stoneman’s swim team. He was supposed to start University of Indianapolis in the fall where he was going to join the university’s swim team.
‘He was a happy young man full of joy and life,’ the statement read. ‘He dreamed of making the Olympic swim team and going to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He believed he could accomplish anything as long as he tried his best.’
‘Nick’s death is a reminder that we are connected to the larger world, and when tragedy hits in places around the world, it oftentimes affects us at home,’ University of Indianapolis president Robert L Mauel previously said in a statement.
Gunman Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the February 14 massacre
Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for the March For Our Lives events on Saturday.
The main event was held in DC, but another 800 events took place around the world in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville and other areas.
Globally, events were held in Paris, London, Berlin, Sydney, Mumbai, Tokyo.