Students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida found themselves running and hiding for their lives when a gunman opened fire in the premises on February 14 at around 2:30 pm.
A troubling message
Like most high schools in the country, the students here were allowed to take their cellphones to school as long as they did not interfere with study activities. So, this meant when the suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, began shooting, many students used their phones to call for help.
While some called emergency services, others kept a visual record of what was going on at the school. Many of them contacted their terrified families.
One student, Sara Crescitelli, was rehearsing for her school musical when the piercing sounds of gunshots rented the air. She and about 40 other students immediately took cover in a hot storage room. She then proceeded to send what she thought would be the last message she would ever write to her mother.
If I don’t make it. I love you and I appreciate everything you did for me.
Another text message between a 14-year-old boy and his parent was also shared via Twitter. Even though the boy was scared for his life, he still managed to express his worry that his mom would get hurt if she came to get him.
A terrible tragedy
The Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, confirmed on Wednesday that at least 17 people lost their lives in the mass shooting.
Cruz, who was apprehended as a suspect in the shooting, was reportedly once a student of the school. He was expelled due to disciplinary issues.
A parent's worst nightmare
One of the scariest experiences for any parent is receiving a call from their child in school about such a violent incident. But unfortunately, for many parents, this was exactly what happened on Wednesday.
Lissette Rozenblatt said she was incredibly shocked to get that call from her daughter.
She told me to please call the police because somebody was hurt, and she kept hearing that person crying out for help.
The country is still reeling from the tragedy as many offer thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims.