Alexandria Bell was just a month away from turning 16, a milestone she was supposed to celebrate with her out-of-state father.
“My daughter was planning to come to California and celebrate her birthday with me on November 18,” Andre Bell told CNN affiliate KSDK.
“But now we have to plan his funeral.”
Alexandria on Monday at St. He was one of two people killed at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in Louis.
Teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, was also killed when a gunman armed with nearly a dozen high-capacity magazines opened fire at the school.
“I really want to know: how did that man get into the school?” Bell told KSDK.
“It’s a nightmare,” he said. “I’m so annoyed. I need someone – the police, people in the community, someone – to make sense of this.”
When the shooting happened in St. Louis, a Michigan prosecutor who had just heard the guilty plea of a teenager who killed four students last fall said he wasn’t surprised to hear of another school shooting. “It doesn’t surprise me that there’s another school shooting, it’s horrible,” Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said.
“We need to keep the public and let the public know … how we can prevent gun violence. It’s preventable, and we should never allow it to be something we have to live with.”
Alexandria was a member of the Saint Louis Dazzling Diamonds dance group. Her dancers created a poster with Alexandria’s image that is now part of a growing memorial in front of the school.
Her friend Dejah Robinson said the two planned to celebrate Halloween together this weekend.
“He was always funny and kept a smile on his face and everyone was laughing,” Robinson said, fighting back tears.
The father of the dead teenager said his daughter could do better every day.
“Alexandria was my everything. He was cheerful, wonderful and a great person,” Bell told KSDK.
“She was a girl I liked to see and hear. No matter how I felt, I could always talk to him, and it was fine. That was my baby.’
Robinson, who attends another school, said she wants lawmakers to act on gun control.
“They knew what was going on, and something could have been done,” he said. “But it’s clear they won’t do anything and they won’t.”
Kuczka, a health and physical education teacher, was looking forward to retiring in the next few years, said her daughter Abigail Kuczka.
“Jean was passionate about making a difference and loved spending time with her family,” her daughter said in a statement to CNN.
Alexis Allen-Brown was among the alumni who fondly remembered Kuczka’s influence on her students. “He had a kind heart. It was delicious. He always made you laugh even when you weren’t trying to laugh,” Allen-Brown said.
“He made you feel real, inside and outside of class. It made you feel human. And it was so sweet.
In her biography on the school’s website, Kuzcka said she had worked at Central VPA High School since 2008. “I believe that every child is a unique human being and deserves the opportunity to learn,” he wrote in his biography.