“I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours. It was about guns. You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt.”
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida are just beginning to process the horrific shooting that killed at least 17 of their peers and faculty.
On Wednesday, a former student armed with a semiautomatic rifle began firing on campus, and then inside the high school, before he was detained by authorities.
The victims included students, teachers, and coaches.
As the shooting was happening, scenes of horror inside and outside the school were documented live and shared to social media. Students also sent their friends and parents heartbreaking texts as their fates remained unknown.
Jonathan Drake / Reuters
“I got home around 5, I think. I think I saw Tomi Lauren's [sic] tweet and replied right when I saw it,” Carly explained. “I was just thinking about how I was literally involved in the shooting and I was talking about gun control … I just don't understand why we can't mourn and use our voice to speak out at the same time.
“I just wanted to give a first-hand answer to her, so she could understand that this is what we need to talk about.”
Carly added that she didn't even have the time or capacity to react during the shooting because “none of it felt real.” And she had spent hours hiding in a closet with other terrified students, who she was trying to console.
“You would never ever think that this would happen at your school,” she said. “The scariest part was not knowing what was going on. I thought it was a drill until my friend's sister texted her that she heard gunshots.”
Lex, who was home sick Wednesday, said she found out about the shooting when her best friend texted her that she had heard gunshots and, shortly after, had seen someone get shot in the leg.
“Then I started texting all of my friends asking if they were safe, and they were all telling me where they were hiding,” she said. “A couple of them were crammed in a closet, some of them were locked in the auditorium, and most of them were in a classroom hidden behind something.”
Fortunately, all of Lex's friends survived the shooting, but the effects of the trauma have hit them all hard.
“A lot of them have felt really sick and haven’t wanted to leave their house,” she said.