Fifteen-year-old Peter Wang was last seen in his JROTC uniform, helping other students and teachers escape the gunman during Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The massacre took the lives of 17 individuals from the Douglas community.
Wang was one of those killed, but he died honorably, reportedly holding a door open for others to escape the hail of gunfire. Now, Wang’s friends and classmates are requesting a full honors military funeral for the slain cadet.
A petition has been filed on the White House’s “We the People” website.
“He was a Jrotc Cadet who was last seen, in uniform, holding doors open and thus allowing other students, teachers, and staff to flee to safety. Wang was killed in the process,” the petition reads.
“His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area.
“Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial,” the petition concludes.
As of Monday, the petition had amassed over 22,000 signatures — but needs 100,000 signatures for a required response from the White House.
According to local ABC affiliate WPLG, students at Douglas remember Wang as a selfless individual.
“I want people to know that he died a hero, that he died saving many people,”classmate and friend Aiden Ortiz told the station.
Another student, Rachel Kuperman, described how Wang had acted selflessly one day prior to the shooting.
“I forgot my lunch that day and he went to the vending machine with me and he bought me Sprite and candy and snacks,” she recalled. “He put others before himself.”
Gabriel Ammirata, described by the Miami Herald as Wang’s best friend, also recounted the type of person Wang had been.
He described him as “funny, nice and a great friend. He’s been my best friend since third grade.”
Ammirata had reportedly planned to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the Wang family at a local restaurant they owned.
The 15-year-old student and JROTC cadet had wanted to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
A funeral for Wang will be held at Kraeer Funeral Home, 1655 N. University Drive in Coral Springs at 1 P.M. on Tuesday. He will be laid to rest at Bailey Memorial Gardens in North Lauderdale, according to The Sentinel.
You can sign the petition for Wang’s military honors here.
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