ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — On Monday, friends and family confirmed the names and the identities of all three shooting victims. Two had been students during the past year at Elgin High School. The third was the ex-wife of the man now charged with capital murder in the triple shooting.
The victims have been identified as:
- Willie Simmons III
- Alyssa Broderick
- Amanda Broderick
Condolences have poured in all day long from friends, family, coaches and school administrators.
Willie Simmons III
Friends and family spoke highly of Willie Simmons III, calling him a ‘man of God’ and a man of integrity. Dozens of people sent KXAN pictures of the young man, often surrounded by the people he loved and those who loved him back.
“Willie stood for righteousness. Willie stood for integrity. Willie was everything that this district stands for. Everything that a man of God stands for,” said Reverend Jeremy Koch, the father to one of Simmons’ best friends and a local preacher at a church in Elgin.
Simmons was the captain of the high school football team at Elgin High School and had signed his letter of intent to play college football at the University of North Texas once he graduated this spring.
“My soul is hurting right now,” Elgin High offensive coordinator Omasha Brantley tweeted Sunday.
Antoinette Koch, whose son is a fellow teammate and was friend to Simmons, was heartbroken to hear what had happened to the young man she spent many years help raise. She said she had to call other friends and family and break the news.
“I am so sad, because he had so much more work he could have done. He was going to make a mark on this world and touch people and bless people and make a name. And his name is going to live in our hearts, but he was my son. I feel like I lost a child. I really, really do,” Koch said
Elgin ISD Superintendent Dr. Jodi Duron said Simmons “represented the very best of Elgin ISD” and was a National Honor Society member.
“He was an exceptional young man and leader among his peers,” Duron said.
“Willie Simmons was exactly the kind of young man that every college coach wants to recruit,” North Texas head football coach Seth Littrell tweeted Monday. “His athletic talent was obvious, but his personal character, his selfless attitude and his passion for life made him a natural leader and the perfect teammate.”
Alyssa Broderick left Elgin ISD in the fall, but was a student there from 2009 to 2020, according to Duron.
“She was an excellent student and athlete, enrolled in our Early College High School program and played on our girls’ basketball team,” Duron said.
Alyssa was a guard on the basketball team and made All-District Honorable Mention her freshman year, according to Madison Koehler.
“I’ve been trying to find the words but have only come up empty,” Koehler tweeted. “These are our kids. They were going to make it out. They were going to be great. I’m absolutely devastated.”
Former AAU basketball coach Stephanie Whitley-Yell lovingly referred to Alyssa as a “beast” on the court. She said the star athlete was a bright young woman who was extremely coachable.
“Amanda, Willie and Alyssa, may they rest in peace, and please let’s get justice for them this time,” Whitley-Yell said. “I want justice for her. Because they all deserve justice. We cannot fail them. We cannot fail them again.”
“The Elgin ISD community grieves the loss of these two young, promising souls,” Duron added.
Grief counselors and other professionals are available for students, staff and family members to help them cope with the tragedy.
Friends tell us Simmons and Alyssa had dated for years.
“They are in a better place, but I wish they were here, because they had so much life to live.”
Amanda Broderick was the mother of Alyssa and the ex-wife of Stephen Broderick, who is now charged with her murder. Stephen was also the adoptive father of Alyssa. Amanda and Stephen had another child together. That child escaped harm on Sunday.
Friends say Amanda was a loving mother. They sent us multiple pictures of Amanda with her daughter at Alyssa’s basketball games. A GoFundMe was set up by Amanda’s work family to help pay for their funeral arrangements.
Stephanie Whitley-Yell, a family friend, told KXAN she isn’t surprised by this tragic outcome.
“How can a father do this to his daughter and do this to his wife — and in front of his son?” Whitley-Yell asked.
Whitley-Yell said she’s known Amanda and her family for almost 10 years.
“When I heard active shooter, and I heard the three descriptions, I was already in tears and crying. I said, ‘I feel it, I feel it in my soul,'” Whitley-Yell said.
Whitley-Yell said she thinks Stephen snapped.
“I kind of had a feeling that this is where he was going, because he was lost,” she explained. “He lost everything. He lost his family. [Amanda] had a protective order for a reason.”
Amanda is remembered for her strong work ethic and being a successful licensed practical nurse.
“Amanda had so much to live for — I mean 35? She still had so much to live for,” Whitley-Yell said.
She said the child that escaped the horrific situation, Amanda’s son, turns 10 on Tuesday — just two days after the tragic killings.
“How do you celebrate a birthday and mourn your mom and sister?” Whitley-Yell asked. “We have to live on with them in our hearts.”
Austin Regional Clinic confirmed Amanda was one of their employees and released the following statement to KXAN on Monday evening:
“Austin Regional Clinic mourns the tragic loss of Amanda Broderick, LVN, her daughter Alyssa, and her daughter’s boyfriend Willie Simmons III. Amanda was a beloved colleague to everyone she worked with at ARC, and we join with her family in grieving Amanda’s death and celebrating her life. She will be greatly missed by her many friends in the ARC family. We extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all three victims.”