While U.S. students protested gun violence Friday, these students barricaded themselves in fear
On the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine high school shooting, thousands of students walked out of class to call for gun reform in the U.S.
But one walkout was cancelled when a person with a gun opened fire at a Florida high school.
Forrest High School in Ocala, Fla., was put on lockdown Friday morning when one teenager was injured in the shooting.
Jake Mailhiot told the Associated Press his psychology class had just started when he heard the “code red” over the intercom.
“You could hear in their voice that this wasn’t a drill,” the 16-year-old junior said. That’s when classmates and teachers alike jumped into action.
School shooting at my school, this crap is terrifying…. Praying for everyone. There was actually a scheduled walkout today. It becomes super real when it's your school. pic.twitter.com/Kafx9qvMWn
— RoboKast (@RoboKast) April 20, 2018
In photos shared on social media, doors to classrooms aren’t visible behind the furniture which barricaded students in.
“Our teachers started pushing file cabinets and desks toward the door, and a few friends and I joined in,” Mailhiot said. “We also started tying together some jackets to hang out the window, in case we needed another way out.”
Mailhiot said about 15 people in the classroom waited over 30 minutes to be removed by Ocala police. They were instructed to leave the room with their hands up, he said.
The suspect in the shooting was identified as a student who wasn’t currently enrolled in classes. Police have him in custody.
Meanwhile, across the country, students walked out of other high schools to protest the prevalence of school shootings – and how easy it is for people to get guns in the U.S.
IN PHOTOS: Walkouts in on the anniversary of Columbine
Hundreds of students in New York lifted their hands in the air, with the words “Don’t Shoot” written on them.
In Detroit, they chanted “Are we next?” as they marched through the streets.
In Washington, D.C., they marched on the White House and held a moment of silence before reading the names of the victims of the Columbine school shooting that killed 13 people 19 years ago in Colorado.
The anniversary is being commemorated across the U.S. this year, amid a push for gun law reform by the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting which happened 400 kilometres away from the latest shooting in Ocala.
Since the Parkland shooting, the students have started a movement to ban assault weapons and tighten background checks to keep guns away from potential shooters.