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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the face of tragedy, humanity tends to show it’s most humane side – and the wake of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting was no different.

“I want to pay my respects to those families. We were lucky,” said Kim Lariviere, choking back tears.

Lariviere described a scene of complete terror when a swarm of people came rushing towards them to escape the gunfire.

“We threw our children on the ground and laid on top of them,” she said.

In the chaos of the moment, not a person cared for any possession they had as they scurried for safety.

Her family finally found shelter at a car rental building along with about 40 others.

Since Friday, Lariviere’s family has been waiting in a hotel to retrieve their belongings and go home.

But her 10-year-old daughter Courtney hasn’t been able to sleep after being detached from her beloved stuffed animal “Rufus.”

You see, Rufus was a gift from the little girl’s grandfather before his death.

When the violent shooting erupted, Rufus, in his red hooded jumper, was left behind at his seat near gate D8, where the Canadian family was waiting to board a Delta Air Lines flight to Detroit after a cruise.

When Courtney couldn’t sleep without her bear, her mother tweeted to the Broward County Sheriff’s office in a plea to help her find Rufus for her daughter.


They, in turn, retweeted the message to others. And guess what? It worked!

In a warm turn of news, her parent’s account has reported that the stuffed animal has been found.

Courtney is reunited with Rufus (CBS4)

Courtney is reunited with Rufus (CBS4)

Courtney and her teddy bear were reunited at the airport Tuesday afternoon.

Hugging her precious Rufus once more, Courtney said “it feels super good.”


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