Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Victims of Texas Mass Shooting Mourned: “Why Them, and Why So Young?”

Another rampage by another angry man with a gun left eight people dead at a football viewing party in Plano, Texas, earlier this week. The victims, who ranged in age from 22 to 33, died in the most common form of mass shooting in America: an attack carried out by a man targeting a former or current domestic partner, and anyone standing in the way.

Here is what friends and loved ones are saying about the dead.

Meredith Emily Hight, 27, was “a quite fine” cook who “loved hosting friends and families,” her mother, Debbie Lane, told the local ABC-TV affiliate. “This was her first opportunity to do it after the divorce, and he didn’t take it well.”

Anthony Michael Cross, 33, was a motion-capture animator for video games and commercials, a job he was “passionate about,” a cousin wrote on Facebook. Cross practiced yoga and martial arts and took BodyCombat classes on Tuesdays. In a Facebook eulogy, one of his classmates noted a bitter irony: Cross was “someone who knew martial arts, but [was] defenseless against a gun.”

Olivia Nicole Deffner, 24, was a digital marketing manager at Texas Instruments in Dallas, 18 miles south of Plano. She was a basketball fan, particularly of the San Antonio Spurs. Her social media presence reveals a world traveller: a journey to Morocco; playing with monkeys in Thailand; sunrise in Portugal; soccer in Germany; a semester in Austria; a pre-Christmas trip to New York City.

Top row, from left: Darryl Hawkins, Meredith Hight, James Dunlop, Olivia Deffner. Bottom row, from left: Caleb Edwards, Myah Bass, Anthony Cross, Rion Morgan.

James Richard Dunlop, 29, attended college with at least one of the other victims, Rion Morgan. A mutual friend eulogized the pair on Facebook: “While I only knew them for a couple years in college, they deserved more than this. Why them and why so young?” Under a photo of Dunlop at a May wedding, in which he appears to be the groom, the alleged gunman wrote, “About time.”

Rion Christopher Morgan, 31, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, was a fan of graphic novels. “I do stuff and get stuff done,” reads the intro to his Facebook profile.

Darryl William Hawkins, 22, was a sales consultant at a car dealership, according to a co-worker, who added that Hawkins’s positive vibe brought people together.

Caleb Seth Edwards, 25, tended bar at an Italian gastropub in Dallas.

Myah Sade Bass, 28, a hair stylist, was married to a sergeant in the Army. After Hurricane Harvey flooded Texas, Bass overlaid the state flag over her profile picture.