PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — Seventeen-year-old Colton Haab was in the building next door when shots rang out at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School during the afternoon hours of Valentine’s Day.
“At about 2:20 p.m., the fire alarm was pulled so, at first, I thought culinary had set off some sort of smoke detector and we were going to evacuate and that this was another drill like the one we had,” said Haab.
Even when he heard the shots, he said he thought they were fire crackers.
“At first, it sounded like firecrackers because we had been planning for an event to happen, something like a staging area where we were going to do an active shooter scenario so the first seven gunshots sounded originally like firecrackers.”
But once it hit him that it was real, he sprung into action along with his teacher and other classmates.
“As more shots came in, I realized that it wasn’t firecrackers, it was actually an armed shooter and this wasn’t a joke,” said Haab. “My first thing was, I’m going to shut the door, grab the paperwork that I need for this thing and make sure where’s my family, because I have a brother that goes here. He’s a sophomore. I was just wondering, where is he.”
They let other students in from the hall and put up Kevlar sheets to protect themselves.
“The teacher was very calm. He helped to calm everybody down. We had opened the door and we let as many people in that came out for the fire drill. We brought them in and we barrier-ed them…..We just armed ourselves and prepared for the worst and prayed for the best.”
Haab armed himself with a chair, 2 pieces of wood and a fire extinguisher and just waited.
“If he ever did come into the classroom, I was going to defend myself as best as possible, ” said Haab.
As for those who were shot, he says he knows two of them.
“My old football coach. His name is Coach Feis. I don’t know if he is in critical condition or if he actually did pass,” said Haab. “My friend’s sister. Her name is Elena Petty. She’s been missing. We hope for the best, but we don’t think she made it.”
Coach Aaron Feis has since died.
Haab said he heard the coach ran towards the building when shots rang out.
“He sprinted with everything he had towards it to make sure everybody was safe. I heard that he got in front of a couple of people and shielded them and he actually took the bullets for them….He saved their life for sure.”
Haab says he does not consider himself a hero.
“I am not sure that I’m a hero. It’s just one of those things that you’ve got to do to make sure everyone is safe,” said Haab. “I want to eventually join the military so that’s just my mindsets that I was just going to try to help as many people. I just wish I could help more.”
As for what’s next, Haab says he just wants things to go back to normal.
“I just hope that we can get back to our family aspect and school and just be able to get back to normal eventually,” said Haab.