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The Florida school shooting, in students’ own words

As Parkland, Florida, mourns a school shooting that left 17 dead, we listen to the voices of those who experienced the tragedy firsthand.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And we close tonight with some voices from Parkland, Florida.

    It's possible that some on the outside become inured to these mass shootings because they have become so common, but, for these individuals, that won't happen.

  • Student:

    There's no way this is really happening. It's Parkland. It's Douglas. Like, this doesn't happen here.

    And then I guess, maybe a couple minutes later, I started to realize, wow, this is actually happening, like this is really real life. Like, this is happening right now, right here.

  • Student:

    It would never be something that I expected in my life. Douglas is one of the safest schools. And they make sure that you're safe on campus. I would have never expected it to happen.

  • Student:

    Boom, boom, boom, boom. We heard a gunshot. I thought it was firecrackers. But after I heard the last shot, I was like, oh, no, I'm out.

  • Student:

    I was just like, what the heck was that? Like, that can't be anything other than a gunshot. So, I was like, oh — I started running. I was like, I'm not going to — I'm not about to be shot.

  • Student:

    Grabbed the fire extinguisher, two pieces of by two-by-four and a chair. And we just — if he did come in the room, we were going to try to stop him with everything we had.

  • Student:

    We decided to push all the desks against every door in the classroom. My classroom, sadly, had three doors, so we had to move all the desks around.

  • Student:

    Some kids froze. Some kids were on their phones. A lot of them were on their phones, just trying to Snapchat everything, because they thought it was a joke. And it wasn't. There was kids freaking out, students freaking out, teachers. It — it was — it sucked.

  • Student:

    In a group chat, I heard people saying, like, a guy and a girl, they got shot. I'm like, holy crap. I was talking to them. Now they're in the hospital, maybe dead. It's crazy that this happened.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And our hearts go out to all of them.

    We leave you with live video of a candlelight vigil that is under way right now in Parkland.

    And that's the "NewsHour" for tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff.

    Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you, and we'll see you soon.

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