By Christina Soto | Broadcast Managing Editor
Coppell sophomore Summer Maccubbin attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., her freshman year and said she could not believe what she was seeing online Wednesday night when 17 people were killed by a 19-year-old gunman with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle.
Authorities said the suspect, Nikolas Cruz looked like any other high school student. Cruz arrived at the school in an Uber at 2:19 p.m carrying a black duffel bag and a backpack where he hid loaded magazines, according to authorities. Cruz shot five people inside classrooms on the first and second floor of the school building. He then left the rifle and ammunition in a stairwell and got away by blending in with the students fleeing the scene.
“I got a text message from my parents Wednesday afternoon about the shooting and seeing everything lay out on social media, Facebook and Instagram,” Maccubbin said. “It was just horrifying to see the halls we used to walk down filled with tactical teams dressed in full gear and seeing kids running away screaming. It was just horrible.”
Maccubbin said all her friends had graduated, but her friends’ younger siblings still attended the school. She said she is thankful none of them were hurt.
Maccubbin said she actually knew the gunman and was surprised to hear it was him who was the suspect behind the attack.
“There was a lot of confusion,” Maccubbin said. “Just me trying to wrap my head around it. He was in my band class my freshman year and it was just hard to look back on the memories and try to remember what had happened — to try to think that’s the same person who could have done this.”
Maccubbin said he did not really talk to anyone in band class and was not a very outgoing person. She said there wasn’t a lot of feedback from him in class, but was still at what had happened.
“I was surprised that I knew him and that someone you know, could do this,” Maccubbin said. “But everyone went through that phase of quiet, listening to loud music and apparently, it continued on for him. He had gotten really deep into that scene.”
Two coaches, numerous freshmen and seniors were among the victims who lost their lives. Various reports have revealed that the coaches died while shielding their students.
Thousands of people gathered in Parkland, where they hosted a prayer vigil. Attendees held candles to remember those who died and were injured during the incident.
On Friday, President Donald Trump went to Broward Health North Hospital in Deerfield Beach, Fla., to meet with hospitalized victims of the shooting.
The semiautomatic weapon was bought legally at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Florida. Cruz is now facing 17 counts of premeditated murder. It has been reported that Cruz is willing to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.