Eight people were shot and killed at a football game watching party in Plano, Texas, and police have now released their names. They were promising young people in their 20s and 30s from various walks of life. Men and women. A beauty salon worker and a car salesman. People who were loved and remembered in tributes on social media by people who described them as positive, nice, and friendly.
Asked the friend of one: “Why them and why so young?”
Spencer Hight, 32, of Plano, was identified as the suspect and killed by police at the scene.
The massacre unfolded around 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 10 in what the city’s police chief called the worst mass shooting in Plano’s history.
A police officer shot Hight after arriving to the scene and seeing victims in the backyard and hearing gunfire inside the house, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Here is a full list of the victims, with photos and short bios to remember their lives:
Meredith Emily Hight
Hight was a 27-year-old female. She was also the estranged wife of the accused shooter, Spencer Hight. They were in the middle of a divorce when the mass shooting occurred.
Meredith’s mother, Debbie Lane, told The Dallas Morning News that her daughter was hosting the football watch party of the game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at the home she had once shared with her estranged husband. They didn’t have any children.
“The couple were married in 2011 in Collin County but stopped living together in March, court records show. She filed for divorce in July, citing “discord or conflict of personalities,” the Dallas newspaper reported.
“She was a cook, and a quite fine one, and she loved hosting friends and families,” Debbie Lane told WFAA-TV. “This was her first opportunity to do it after the divorce and he didn’t take it well.”
Anthony Michael Cross
Cross was a 33-year-old male. Cross’ Facebook page said he went by the name of Tony and was from Austin but lived in Dallas. On Facebook, he posted jokes, about going for a morning run, and about grilling. According to CBS, Cross “was a motion capture animator, who worked on video games and commercial ads.”
During the Houston floods, Cross wrote, “Texas never doubt that you are home for me.” He also posted about the eclipse. Friends posted about their shock on Facebook.
One woman wrote, “I’m absolutely GRIEF STRICKENED! Sick to my stomach!!! I just found out one of my BodyCombat members was a victim of last night’s shooting in Plano. Tony Cross, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’ll never see you in my class again. Now I personally know someone who died at the hands of gun violence….”
A man wrote, “Just now reading all the post about Tony Cross. Tony was a really good guy and always friendly with me and everyone else whether it was as students in ATEC, or after we all graduated. R.I.P. Tony. Sending prayers out to you, your family and everyone else effected by last night’s shooting.”
Olivia Nicole Deffner
Deffner was a 24-year-old female. According to her Facebook page, Olivia Deffner was a Digital Marketing Program Manager at Texas Instruments. She had studied at The University of Texas at Dallas, and she lived in Dallas, Texas.
In 2015, she wrote, “After months of applying and interviewing, my future has finally been decided. I have officially accepted an offer for a full-time marketing position at Texas Instruments! Can’t wait to begin the next chapter of life!” She also wrote on Facebook about being a Spurs fan, her cat, and traveling.
She recently visited Thailand.
People who knew Deffner also filled her Facebook page with tributes. One woman wrote, “I’m heart broken to hear the news. You are so beautiful and talented and bright, i cant believe this monstrous thing could happen to you. I will miss you my amazing AIESEC baby and friend. Rest in peace, you and your family are in my thought!”
Friend Jo Lynn wrote, “I can’t believe you’re gone. It still doesn’t feel real. I’m still half expecting you to respond to the messages and texts I’ve sent. I cant even say the words. I cant even put those three initials you put when someone passes. It just doesn’t feel real. You were too good for this world. You were far better than any of us. I still hear your voice, laugh, your crazy German speak. I love you so much Olivia Deffner. Thank you for being my best friend for all those years. Thank you for every memory, every laugh, every argument, every trip, every early morning, every late night, every glass of wine, every homecooked meal, every Netflix show, every adventure we ever had. Thank you for everything. I wish I could take your place. I would in an instant. You are with me always. I love you.”
James Richard Dunlop
Dunlop was a 29-year-old male. A friend wrote on Facebook, “I’ll miss you buddy. Glad I got to talk to you last week. Even if it was mundane and business related.”
Another friend lamented, “My friends, James Dunlop and Rion Morgan, will be sorely missed. Others closer to them than I are suffering dearly right now, please sends thoughts and prayers. While I only knew them for a couple years in college, they deserved more than this. Why them and why so young?”
Dunlop had been friends with both Spencer and Meredith Hight since the three attended college together at the University of Texas at Dallas, according to WFAA-TV. He was Spencer’s best man at the couple’s wedding ceremony in 2012, and took him in to his apartment after the couple separated earlier this year, the news station reports.
Darryl William Hawkins
Hawkins was a 22-year-old male. A friend wrote on Facebook, “Can’t believe someone I know was apart of this now he’s gone.. Rest In Peace Darryl William Hawkins.”
Hawkins’ page said he worked as a Sales Consultant at David McDavid Acura Plano and previously worked at BMW of San Antonio and Classic BMW – Plano. He studied Automotive and Diesel Technology at Universal Technical Institute and graduated from McKinney Boyd High School.
On September 10, the day of the massacre, he put a Dallas Cowboys filter on a Facebook photo. One friend told CBS that Hawkins was known for his “positive vibe.”
Rion Christopher Morgan
Morgan was a 31-year-old male. His Facebook page said he was from Houston and lived in Dallas. It carried his motto: “I do stuff and get stuff done.” He posted quotes from Nelson Mandela and graphics from movies, especially about superheroes.
Morgan went to college with Spencer and Meredith Hight and was one of Spencer’s groomsmen at the couple’s wedding ceremony in 2012, according to WFAA-TV.
Myah Sade Bass
Bass was a 28-year-old female. Her Facebook page said she Worked at Tri-State Cosmetology Institute and Capone’s Barber Shop, and studied at Tri-State Cosmetology Institute, and El Paso Community College.
She went to Americas High School, lived in El Paso, and was married. A friend wrote, “Wow idk what to say this is really sad she was such a nice person to us at school.”
A relative wrote, “Please keep my cousin Marcus Bass in your prayers last night his wife, my cousin in law was one of the 7 victims in this horrific massacre. Rest in peace Myah Sade Bass…We love you. She will be remembered as the angel that changed my cousin’s life.”
Caleb Seth Edwards
Edwards was a 25-year-old male. A friend wrote, “Rest In Peace Caleb Seth Edwards. You were truly one of a kind!”
In August, Edwards wrote on Facebook, “Anyone else ever want to just grab somebody by their ears, and scream at them for being stupid?” He was single, lived in Frisco, Texas, and was from San Antonio.
A friend wrote, “So they just released the names of the shooting victims in Plano and this breaks my heart. I saw your name and hoped and prayed to God it wasn’t you. You were the sweetest guy ever and gave me the best Senior Homecoming!”