The Shooting

The day had started out like any other, get up, get ready, go to school. I had a physics test that day that took me an exceptionally long time to complete. I was left writing my test long into lunch break and by the time I had completed the test there was only a few minutes left for me to eat my lunch. I quickly ate a bun from my lunch while I stood at my locker and listened to people talking about the upcoming grad celebrations. The bell rang indicating that lunch was over and that I had a few minutes to get to class on time.  I considered rushing to catch up with a small group of people I usually walked to English class with, but decided to take a little extra time to eat and relax. I grabbed my binder and started off towards class.

My locker was located on the third floor of the main wing of our school and I had to go down to the main floor to another wing and then up to the second floor of that wing. As I made my way down the stairs I thought maybe I should hurry because I was clearly going to be late, however hurrying didn’t seem to be an option as I was quite stiff and sore from some dance classes I had participated in the previous night.  As I made my way through a hallway on the main floor of the school I noticed three boys in front of  me who were talking to each other heading in the same direction I was.

Suddenly my attention was drawn to an exterior door that was opening. As the door swung open, a boy entered and began firing what I would later find out to be a sawed off 22-calibre rifle.  There was no time to see it coming. The door opened and he was shooting just as quickly as it took me to look. The boys in front of me were on the ground and I stood staring. I noticed the gun, it was smoking. I looked at the shooter, I knew him, not well but I knew him. I looked at the boys on the floor. I stood trying to figure out if it was all real. I thought the gun looked funny and thought it sounded a lot quieter than it should have. Maybe it wasn’t real? I looked back at the boys on the floor. One of them was holding his stomach and yelling at the shooter. I’m grateful he yelled, it made me realize it was all real and that I was in danger.

Quickly I went behind the nearest corner and hid. I stayed glued to the wall. What was I doing there? I don’t know, trying to hide I guess. One of the boys who had been shot at ran by. The fact that he was running made me think that the shooter would be close behind him so I turned and ran down a hall that lead to the Jr. High school that was connected to our High school. I hid in a door well to a classroom. I didn’t want to go in to the class and startle anyone and I didn’t want to lead the shooter into any classrooms if he was following me.

The teacher in the classroom noticed me and came out to see what was wrong. She asked me what was wrong assuming that I had got into a fight with a boyfriend. She was taken aback when I replied that there was a boy with a gun in the school who had shot some other boys. She tried to reassure me by telling me that it had perhaps been a skit for a drama class or a prank of some sort. I’m not sure what I said but I know I assured her it was real. She decided that she would take me to the Jr. high office and have them phone over to the High school to see if it was okay for me to return and go to my class. As she walked me down the hall I turned to look back towards the High school. Down the long hall I could see the boys who had been shot. They had moved and I felt like I should go back to help them. The teacher accompanying me urged me to stay with her and so I continued to the office with her. When we got to the office the teacher I was with informed the office staff of the situation and suggested that they phone the High school to see how everything was.

From that point, everything started to blur. I remember sitting in the office looking for something that was out of place or not right to convince myself it was all just a dream. The principal of the High school came running into the office talked to the Jr High principal and then left. I was moved to a different room where a few other women were. I remember one lady was wearing all black, black pants, shoes, shirt, socks and hair tie. There was another women in there who talked to me to help keep me distracted.

I phoned my brother at home, I didn’t tell him much, I wasn’t sure what to say. I did tell him that someone needed to go to the dance studio and put up a sign saying dance would be cancelled that night because I didn’t think I would feel up to teaching. I can’t remember how long I was kept in lock down. A trauma councilor came to the Jr High and attempted to escort me to the High school. I say attempt because she tried taking me back through the school the way I had came. As we were walking towards the hallway that lead to the High school I kept thinking it didn’t make sense that we could go back through that way but I didn’t say anything. As we got closer it became clear by the yellow police tape that we wouldn’t be able to go that way. We turned around and she took me outside to go around to the High school.

As we walked to the High school there was large wet snowflakes falling on us. I remember looking up and seeing my mom. She ran towards me and hugged me. Everything again starts to blurs after that. I don’t remember if we went into the High school and I gave a quick statement or if I just left and came back later to give a statement to the police or if it was both. I do remember seeing friends of mine that were in the English class I had been going to being paraded across the lawn of the school as they made their way to the Jr High gymnasium to be informed of the events that had occurred. I remember the look in their faces as they saw me it was a strange mixture of relief and pain and fear.

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