School shooting survivor stricken by 'survivor's guilt' takes own life

Aiello graduated from high school in July

Afp March 23, 2019
Aiello graduated from high school in July. PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI: A teenager who survived the Parkland school shooting in Florida has killed herself while struggling with survivors' guilt, local media reported Friday.

Sydney Aiello, 19, was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last February 14 when a former student opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon, killing 14 students and three staff members.

Among the dead were two of Aiello's best friends, Meadow Pollack and Joaquin Oliver.

Her parents told local news CBS4 that she had been treated for PTSD, and suffered from survivor's guilt, when a victim fixates on why they were the one to live, not someone else.

Her mother, Cara, told CBS Miami that Aiello had had a difficult time with her college classes "because classrooms now scared her."

Aiello graduated from high school in July. She was a yoga enthusiast, and took part in the national student movement seeking legal changes on gun control policy.

17 killed in Florida school shooting by former student: Sheriff

Stoneman Douglas students became crusaders against gun violence under the banner "March for Our Lives," lobbying for tougher gun control laws and organizing protests and rallies.

Meadow's father, Andrew Pollack, told the Miami Herald that his "heart goes out to those poor, poor parents.

"It's terrible what happened. Meadow and Sydney were friends for a long, long time," Pollack said.