Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting brings parents panic, relief upon reuniting with children

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - Worried parents panicked all afternoon after getting word of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as they franticly tried to get in touch with their children.

When parents got word that something was happening at the school or were told by their children about a gunman on campus, confusion and fear ensued.

The shooting left 17 people dead and 14 hospitalized, Wednesday.

The shooting began inside the school around 2:30 p.m. A perimeter was set up by deputies.

Parents who were going to the school to pick up their children noticed the commotion and tried to get in touch with their children. They told 7News how scared the whole situation made them.

One parent didn’t even think. She ran to the scene barefoot. “I just left work. I got in my car. I live right over there. I parked, and I ran as fast as I could here,” said a parent. “Unbelievable. My daughter is still in there. You don’t think it comes to your neighborhood, you don’t, and when it happens, it’s surreal. It is unreal.”

“I’m just terrified,” said parent Kerri Paul. “We just moved here from Canada a few months ago, and the thought that this is where we would be with a school shooting is a nightmare.”

Her daughter Alex said she heard the gunshots after someone set off a fire alarm. “We heard gunshots coming from the first floor, second floor, and people were running upstairs,” she said. “We all got upstairs and into the classroom, and when [my teacher] tried to unlock the door, me and a couple other people ran in, and as he was closing the door, he was actually shot and killed right there.”

A mother of a middle schooler who attends nearby Westglades Middle School was also on alert but is grateful to be with her son.

“It’s a sigh of relief. I am so glad that he is OK,” she said. “I’m sure we are all feeling a sigh of relief tonight, but my heart and prayers go out to those high school students and faculty members that did not make it. Let’s all say a prayer for their families.”

While some parents were able to get their children, others had to wait longer.

One father was texting his daughter who was inside the school. “She’s been texting me. She’s in a room with the SWAT team right now,” he said. “She said right now they’re safe. I’m very scared right now.”

As of Wednesday night, there are still many parents who have not heard from their children.

They continue to wait to hear if their child is still alive.

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