The details shared by survivors of the Parkland shooting are nothing short of horrific
Several survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School wrote about what they experienced the day a gunman walked into their school and opened fire on February 14– killing 17 students and staff members.
The detailed accounts were shared in a Twitter thread by @ohstephany_, a student at Stoneman Douglas. Be warned — their memories paint a graphic and unimaginably horrific picture of what occurred that day.
Stephany shared her story first, before adding to the thread with similar accounts from her fellow classmates. And it’s absolutely gut-wrenching to read. In her written testimony, she says she was in her last class of the day when she heard the first gunshot.
“My classmates and I look to our teacher to get clarification that we did just hear what we think we did,” she writes. After realizing what was happening, the students hid behind their teacher’s desk, out of plain sight. After hearing screams coming from outside her classroom, Stephany decided to prepare herself and her family for the worst possible outcome.
“And then it happened, the unimaginable, life or death,” she writes. “The window in our door shattered, sending shards of glass everywhere.” She said after about 10 minutes, she heard sirens and felt a sense of relief.
“But in those 10 minutes, more than 20 people were killed or injured and I heard every single gunshot that caused that.” After the police arrived to her classroom and assessed the situation, they told the students to run for their lives.
“When we got up from behind the desk, two bodies of my classmates laid there, lifeless or unconscious,” she writes. “When running out into the hallway, I step on glass, bullet shells, and blood. The sense of guilt came even stronger when I had to run by two more lifeless bodies in the hallway, having no choice to, once again, leave them behind.”
Absolutely heartbreaking. The terror she was feeling is palpable — these are kids who should have been hopping on the bus to go home and be with their families after just another routine day. Not running for their lives and watching their friends get shot and killed.
She added more voices of her fellow classmates to her thread, each account of the day of the shooting just as chilling as the last.
Ivanna Paitan writes of seeing her slain classmates while running to safety after the shooting ended: “I see Gina and Luke’s body on the floor, I see the size of these gun cases, that were huge, I couldn’t look back as I ran and ran to the other side of the school where there was a massive amount of cop cars, swat team, ambulances, and parents. I can’t forget this moment. I will never forget the details of this massacre.”
Senior Liz Stout says three students in her classroom were shot, begging for their lives. “Hoping the shooter wouldn’t enter the room, I had to shush them so he wouldn’t hear sounds of life. I’ll believe for the rest of my life I acted selfishly, in that I shushed someone who was about to die.”
Junior Morgan Williams: “I saw things no one should ever see.”
Freshman Nariah DePina: “I was asking everyone if I could borrow their phones to call my parents.”
Senior Megan Smith: “I looked down and there were puddles of blood, blood dragged across the floor all the way down the hall. There were multiple bodes, most of which I only saw the feet of, and at the end of the hallway I saw a lifeless body lay behind an officer.”
Freshman Sarah Stricker: “I hear him bang on our door, a few rounds of bullets came flying through the window of the door. The glass shattered, covering the floor. Gunpowder and dust from the broken cabinets he shot was in the air.”
Junior Danielle Gilbert: “I saw my classmates, my friends, people I knew so well, laying on the floor, covered in blood, completely lifeless. I began to cry, not knowing how to comprehend what I had just witnessed.”
Each of these stories is a story you wish you didn’t have to read — ones you wish they didn’t have to share. But the more we share them, the more we talk about them, the better the chances are that stricter gun laws will be passed and these preventable tragedies stop occurring with such alarming frequency.
Until then, we can join the Parkland students in the March For Our Lives on March 24, in D.C. and local communities all over the country to demand that human lives and safety become a priority and to help end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools.