NewsParkland Shooting


6 years after Parkland school shooting, victim's widow continues to heal

Athletic director Chris Hixon among 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
School Shooting Florida 5 Years
Posted at 6:29 AM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 06:29:02-05

PARKLAND, Fla. — Wednesday marks six years since 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

WPTV is hearing from the widow of the man who tried to disarm the shooter.

It's been six years, and not a day goes by that Debbi Hixon doesn't miss her husband, Chris, who was killed in the massacre on Feb. 14, 2018.

Chris Hixon was the school's athletic director. His widow, Debbi, is a school board member for Broward County Public Schools. She spoke to WPTV anchor Tania Rogers about how she lives her life without her husband.

"With a very good support system. With faith that there's a reason," Hixon said. "I can't even imagine what that reason would be, but that he died trying to save other people."

Hixon believes if people get to know and care about each other, maybe that could help prevent some tragedies.

"People don't understand the value of human life and human connection. Because the more you have a relationship with someone and the more you understand what their life is and why they make decisions, it makes you less angry at them. You feel empathy. We don't have empathy that much in our country anymore," Hixon said.

There's short film about Debbi Hixon's story based on the day of the shooting called "Coach In A Suit" that will be released at Savor Cinema, located at 503 Southeast 6th Street in Fort Lauderdale, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Afterward, there will be a panel discussion to talk about what happened and what actions can be taken to prevent future tragedies.

Meanwhile, the city of Parkland will hold a community commemoration Wednesday evening to honor the 17 victims and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas community. It's happening at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Trails Park in Parkland.