Lehigh Valley

Friends remember Chris Hixon, LV native killed in Florida shooting

"He wanted to help."

BRODHEADSVILLE, Pa. - "He was just all around a great student and person."

Rocco Seiler, the principal at Pleasant Valley Middle School sits in the library, bringing up old memories.

Rocco first met Chris back in the late 80's in the wrestling room at Pleasant Valley High School.

As a new student, Rocco was trying to fit in, and Chris was one of the first people who came up and spoke to him.

"And that explains the type of person Chris is," he says.

John Gress is the former principal at Pleasant Valley High School.

"He was the type of the student who - you're walkin' down the hall, and he'd go “Mr. Gress, how are you? You ok? You having a bad day? I'm ok, I'm ok, thanks Chris," Gress smiles.

Now retired, John got the news from the current principal.

"My heart just went pffft," he says, his hands falling toward the floor. "You know, there's no easy way," he shakes his head.

But he said it shook a memory loose...

"I forgot all about it. He called me 2,3 years ago…and we were going through a death in the community - a tragedy or something - I don't know where he was, or whatever, but he wanted to help," John says.

"I forgot all about it. That's the type of kid he was. You don't get that that often," he adds.

Days ago, he got the chance to help his own school. Early reports say Chris also worked with campus security at his Florida High School and because of that role, he came in range of the shooter.

"I would not think he would think twice about jumping in front of anything to help anyone," Rocco says.

No matter where he went, he seemed to be willing to help anyone and it's evident in the students and fellow teachers, honoring his memory on social media.

"You hear the messages from kids who had him as a teacher, as a coach....but as a person who was in school with him, the same thing, you know?" Rocco tells us.

"He loved kids, impacted them and as a teacher, principal, that's what it's all about," John adds.

"I think he's done what we all hope that we can do as an educator, make a difference in the life of kids and that everything we've done for them, they take and use further on in their life. And from what I've read and what I know of Chris, I know that he's done a lot of things that these kids are going to remember the rest of their lives and they're gonna use it and make better choices in their lives," Rocco says.

Debra Hixon, Chris' wife, was interviewed by CNN Thursday night and said Chris would do anything for his students, and ultimately did.

There is a GoFundMe account to help all 17 victims of the school shooting.

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