A 19-year-old gunman opened fire on a Florida high school Wednesday afternoon, killing 17 people and injuring at least a dozen more.
During the confusion and chaos of the shooting, students inside the building texted their parents, siblings, and loved ones to let them know about the emergency — and to take that last potential chance to say “I love you.”
Rachel Friedman heard from her daughter, Ayla — a middle school student who attends school next to the high school — and tried reassuring her that she would be okay.
Friedman later reported that her daughter was safe.
Please keep Parkland in your prayers. We have heard from Ayla. She and her fellow classmates are on lockdown. There is...Posted by Rachel Friedman on Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Miami Herald reporter Chabeli Herrera tweeted a heart-wrenching conversation between high school student Sarah Crescitelli and her parents, in which the student professed, “If I don’t make it I love you and I appreciated everything you did for me.”
While hiding in a bathroom for two hours, this is the text Sarah Crescitelli sent her parents. Dad and Mom both crying re-reading it. #stonemanshooting @ pic.twitter.com/zN7RY8a4vE— Chabeli Herrera (@ChabeliH) February 15, 2018
Herrera later tweeted that Sarah was okay.
Sarah made it out okay. Her parents picked her up from an area where police were holding kids at around 8 p.m. Her dad, a family medicine doctor, said he was afraid she would be one of the victims coming into Broward Health.— Chabeli Herrera (@ChabeliH) February 15, 2018
Kaitlin Carbocci, a high school student, posted screenshots of text message conversations between her and her sister, who is also a student at the high school, during the lockdown.
In the texts, Carbocci’s sister begged her to call 911, saying she didn’t have the cell service to do so.
Both sisters are safe, Carbocci said.
These are the chilling messages I received from my sister. She is safe. Thank you everyone #prayforDouglas #MarjoryStonemanDouglas @browardsheriff @browardschools pic.twitter.com/E3PZo2i2Is— Kaitlin Carbocci (@kcarboccixo) February 14, 2018
Miami Herald reporter Carli Teproff tweeted another photo of a parent’s conversation with their teenage son while he was in lockdown.
Parent's conversation with -14-year-old son who is currently in lockdown. pic.twitter.com/6M4f0FrbZJ— Carli Teproff (@CTeproff) February 14, 2018
Teproff later posted a photo of the family after they reunited.
Father who sent text to son about playing dead if a shooter comes in is reunited with his son. His other son was also on lockdown in middle school. pic.twitter.com/MjH4KmPdJr— Carli Teproff (@CTeproff) February 14, 2018
At a community vigil on Thursday, Alana Koer, 41, of Parkland, Fla., showed a journalist the text messages that she received from her 17-year-old son, Kai, during the shooting.
“If anything happens to me no matter what I love you,” the 17-year-old texted his mom.
Koer said her son survived the attack.
Elise Takahama can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @elisetakahama.