MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Some South Florida parents stayed in contact with their sons and daughters during a shooting at Florida State University which left three injured and the gunman dead.
One took video. Another sent some chilling tweets. The other used texts.
Mark Evans received a call from his daughter and stayed on the phone for five minutes.
“Just pure frightening and more shocking and frightening. My daughter couldn’t believe what she was seeing,” said Mark.
Evans’ 21-year-old daughter Sara Evans was up late studying, as she is set to graduate in December.
“My daughter called me right in the middle of all this,” Evans said. “Normally, she calls this late at night to begin with, because we have a rule where she calls and lets me know when she’s on her way home to be safe.”
But early Thursday morning, as Sara was on her way out, she “saw a young guy on the ground that had gotten shot.” Her father said she taped some of the chaos in the library.
“She lets me know she is safe and away from the shooter. She is out of harms way,” said her father. “I think she was more in shock than anything at the exact moment, because she just couldn’t believe what she was actually seeing.”
During their 5-minute conversation, Evans said he tried to provide as much advice to his daughter as he could.
“I told her to ‘stay calm and keep your head clear, get yourself to a safe location,’” he said.
Evans said he heard the police announcement come over the loud speakers and knew his daughter was safe.
They stayed on the phone until he knew his daughter was safe.
“It’s every parents’ worst nightmare,” said her father. “We send our kids off to school and we want them to be safe.”
Sara said she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary when the shooting occurred. The Evans said they don’t know what could have been done to stop the shooting from happening.
Another parent experienced something similar.
Alana Stokes of Weston was just going to sleep when her daughter sent her a text.
“She texted me to say, ‘I am in the Strozier Library. I am okay. There’s a shooter,” said Stokes.
Alana was stunned by the texts and tweets from her 22-year-old daughter, FSU Senior Blair Stokes.
“Gunman at Strozier,” Blair tweeted. “Not sure when I’ll stop shaking,” she added. “Don’t wanna die.”
“I saw those tweets. Kids live in a world where that is always seen on TV and they never think it’s going to happen to them,” said Alana. “With a situation like that I can’t imagine the terror she was experiencing.”
Alana was nervous.
“Very anxious, very anxious…just not knowing what the situation was,” said Alana.
FSU police had not yet arrived at the library.
“Total alarm…I told my daughter to be safe. I told her to stay put,” said Alana.” I felt secure because the gunman was on the first floor and she was on the fourth floor.”
In other tweets, refering to items left behind by students, Blair said “Stuff just abandoned. Another tweet read, “evacuated to bellamy.”
Alana later discovered Blair was safe.
“I feel extremely relieved. I can not commend the FSU police department enough. They did an outstanding job,” said Alana.
Now her prayers are for the wounded students.
“Absolutely, to the wounded families. I can’t fathom what they must be going through. My hearts are with them and the whole FSU community,” said Alana Stokes.
Michele Magoulas, of Miami Lakes, learned in the middle of the night that her daughter Alexandra — and son Michael — were on the first floor of the FSU library as an armed gunman burst in and opened fire.
“It’s incredible because you’re kind of going through it with them at the same time because they keep you abreast of the every motion,” she said.
Magoulas said she received texts from her daughter after the drama unfolded and once she knew her kids had been taken to a higher floor to safety, she could relax.
“I was so shocked that I tried to stay calm for them because I heard in their voice that they were shaken,” Magoulas said. “Because they were stating they were safe…I just resorted to staying calm and prayer.”
[display-posts category=”local” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]