BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Instead of hearing the final dismissal bell, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heard the sounds of gunfire.
“Crazy. Everyone just yelling, screaming, crying,” said student Johnathan Guimaraes.
At first, students assumed they were having a second fire drill. Then the muffled sounds of pops got louder.
“At first, we just waited like it was a normal fire drill. But then it just got really, it was like a zoo. Everyone just started running. I climbed the fence. Everybody climbed the fence. The exits were too small for people. It was chaos,” said Guimaraes.
Guimaraes’ girlfriend ran to a classroom.
“I was crying the whole entire time. I was just so scared,” said Gabriella Figueroa.
“I heard like multiple gunshots, like, six or seven gunshots. And I ran immediately to find a classroom,” said Figueroa.
But a classroom is not a shield against bullets.
“I went into the closet with a couple of my friends because, like, that’s the safest to be,” she said.
That’s where they huddled for two hours until police came to escort them out, hands in the air, single file.
Cops kept parents away, not knowing if the gunman was still on campus.
“It was about 30 minutes, I couldn’t get in touch with her. And it was the worst 30 minutes of my life. And then finally texts [went] through and then everything was fine,” said Caesar Figueroa.
Reunions had to wait at the Marriot as cops questioned students about the accused shooter.
Frazzeled-looking after their ordeal, one by one, they returned to parents, more than ready to put this day behind them.