Juan Pierre had the best years of his career while playing for the -then named- Florida Marlins, as he was a World Series champion in 2003, National League stolen bases leader that same year and NL hits leader in 2004 with the Fins.
He loved the warm and charm of Florida that much that he established himself in the Parkland municipality in 2006 which is just 30 minutes away from Miami.
Parkland was recently awarded as the third safest town in the state of Florida, and has a good reputation of having great schools. That's why Pierre choose to settle his family in Parkland.
But as the news of a mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people broke (the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012), Pierre was heartbroken.
The former Marlin is now working as an instructor at the team's spring training camp, and he spoke about this tragedy in a news conference at the Marlins' camp:
"In that community, you wouldn’t think anything like that would happen, it's crazy, they’re saying all these streets on the news, and I’m like: 'I know all these streets'. We ride our bikes past that school. The Wal-Mart that the kids were going to, we shop at that Wal-Mart. You really can’t wrap your head around it.
Pierre also stated that these mass shootings at schools "becoming normal", as this is the 18th incident of this type during 2018 at the United States.The 40 year-old also said:
People say (Parkland) has the best schools. It's one of the safest towns in South Florida, and now look what happens. It reaches everybody. It doesn’t have a skin color, or an economic type of thing. It happens everywhere. As Americans, we need to take heed. Our kids are dying senselessly.
Fellow MLB player, Anthony Rizzo, was personally afected too, as he attended to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the tragedy happened. He left the Cubs training camp in order to go with his family and provide support to the Parkland community.