PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Parents described a chaotic and frightening situation as they rushed to find their children in the frantic minutes after reports of a shooting at a South Florida high school began to spread.
Caesar Figueroa says he was one of the first parents to arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He says he saw police officers bringing out big weapons as they approached the school.
Figueroa’s office is only five minutes from the school where he sends his 16-year-old daughter.
“My wife called me that there was an active shooter and the school was on lockdown. I got on the road and saw helicopters, police with machine guns. It was crazy and my daughter wasn’t answering her phone.”
According to Figueroa, she texted him that she was hidden inside a closet at school with friends: “She was in a classroom and she heard gunshots by the window. She and her friends ran into the closet.”
Another parent, Beth Feingold, says her daughter sent a text at 2:32 p.m. saying “We’re on code red. I’m fine.” But she then sent another text soon afterward saying, “Mom, I’m so scared.” The girl was later able to escape the school unharmed.