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parkland school shooting

Students describe panic, confusion during Florida school shooting

Students who witnessed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon described hiding in classrooms as bullets shattered windows around them and filing past the bodies of classmates in the hallways.

The shooting left 17 dead and at least 14 injured. Student Rebecca Bogart, 17, told USA Today there had been a fire drill earlier in the day, and there was some confusion when the fire alarm went off again, not too long before the dismissal bell rang. She quickly realized it was not a drill when bullets came through the windows in her first floor classroom. "It was really hard to be calm," she said. "My friend was holding my hand." She hid under her teacher's desk and could hear classmates screaming, she said. SWAT officers entered her classroom and escorted the students out, and as they walked through the hallway, Bogart said, they saw students covered in blood.

Students sent panicked texts to family and friends outside of the building, letting them know they were barricaded inside their classrooms and could hear gunshots around them. Jillian Davis, 19, told USA Today she was sent videos and photos from inside the school, and she recognized the alleged shooter, identified by law enforcement as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. Cruz, a former student who had been expelled, was pretty quiet, Davis said, but he would make jokes about shooting people and places. "There was a lot of anger-management issues there," she said. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said they've found "very, very disturbing" content on Cruz's social media; he was captured by police nearly a mile away from the school.