Senior at Parkland high school recalls moments when gunman opened fire

  • Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
6:55 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 Local

A high school senior spoke about her terrifying experience in the building at a high school in South Florida where a gunman opened fire last week, killing 17 people, WFOR reported. 

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Samantha Fuentes said she bruised her eye and cut her forehead during the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. She also suffered gunshot wounds to both legs, WFOR reported.

“I heard two shots fired in the hallway. The first two shots everyone froze; everyone was under the impression it was drill and that’s what we said to each other, and then the third shot was fired and that’s when we knew it wasn’t a drill,” Fuentes told WFOR.

Fuentes said she was sitting directly in front of the classroom door when gunfire erupted. She said she panicked and ran forward.

“That’s when I realized I made a very fatal mistake because it was not the right place to hide during a shooting,” Fuentes told WFOR. “You’re supposed to hide behind the door so when the shooter looks in the room you become pretty much invisible, so it looks like nobody is in the room but I ran forward. That’s when he shoved the barrel of his gun through the window of the door and started spraying pretty indiscriminately across the room.”

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Fuentes said she and five of her classmates hid behind a podium.

It was “just a small space and that is where Helena (Ramsay) and Nick (Dworet) were sitting and were shot and killed right next to me,” Fuentes said. “Everything that hit them ricocheted and hit my legs, into my face and into my arm.”

When SWAT teams arrived, Fuentes ran from the building as she bled from her legs, WFOR reported.

Fuentes said she was “not really surprised” that school resource officer Scot Peterson, a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy did not enter the building to confront the shooter, who police have identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

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“He did not have much of a presence in the school to begin with,” Fuentes told WFOR.

Fuentes said that Peterson “failed us.”

“You took an oath and you broke your promise and that is disappointing and I am disappointed in you,” she said.