The terror that gripped Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during Wednesday’s fatal shooting extended to parents and relatives who frantically communicated with their loved ones inside the school.
Michael Udine, County Commissioner of Broward County, has a daughter and a niece that attend the Parkland, Florida, school. He tells PEOPLE he first heard about the shooting when his daughter, a senior, texted him.
“My niece was hiding in a closet with her teachers until the incident was resolved,” he says. “It’s just scary that this can happen in your backyard.”
Lisette Rozenblatt, whose daughter attends the school, tells PEOPLE she was with her husband when their daughter texted them that there was a shooter in the building.
“She kept texting me and she kept saying she was fine, and she was hiding,” Rozenblatt says. “She told me to please call the police because somebody was hurt, and she kept hearing that person crying out for help.”
Rozenblatt says that the students heard a fire alarm at about the same time as shots rang out, and that her daughter’s teacher, noting there had been a fire drill earlier in the day, instructed students not to leave the classroom despite the fire alarm.
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