DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Mrs. Ivy Schamis’s classroom at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is where she’s taught a Holocaust class for the last four years.
“The lessons of the Holocaust came alive in room 1214,” said Ivy Schamis.
February 14th, as the students discussed the Nazi regime’s systematic persecution and murder of six million Jews, they found themselves targets.
Confessed Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz shot out the glass pane and fired directly into their classroom.
Hannah Carbozzi, a student in the class said, “We all kept trying to call 911. We were trying to keep each other calm. Trying to stay quiet. And then we heard the glass break from our classroom door.”
Another student, Sid Fischer explained what happened next. “We just all darted to separate corners. Whether you went to the left corner or the right corner was your choice. And for some it was, unfortunately, the wrong choice,” Fischer says.
CBS4 spoke exclusively to Schamis, Carbozzi, Fischer and two other students, Daniel Zaphrany and Kelly Plaur, during a recent class trip to Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room at Nova Southeastern University.
They described their terrifying experience, as a group, for the first time.
“I made the decision to go to Mrs. Schamis’s desk because I knew I wouldn’t be seen by the door,” Carbozzi said. “And I just tried crawling under the desk. I was with another student under the desk. And I just prayed that he didn’t come in our classroom because if he did, we would have all been killed.”
Mrs. Schamis agreed.
“Had he come in, we were all just sitting on the perimeter of the class. We were out in the open. We were sitting ducks,” she said.
Cruz did not enter the room. Instead, he shot through the door’s blown out window.
The kids who huddled by Mrs. Schamis’s desk survived.
The ones who scrambled to the room’s opposite corner, were shot or wounded.
Carbozzi described how her classmates on the other side of the room tried to protect themselves.
“There was a filing cabinet and a laptop cart there that I guess they thought they could push in front of them,” she recalled. “But we didn’t have enough time. There wasn’t enough time for them to hide.”
Kelly Plaur was the only one whose cell phone would work. She called 911.
She spoke to a dispatch operator, for 14 minutes before the call failed.
“At first I was telling her that there was a school shooter,” Plaur said.
Audio of that call has been made public.
In it, Plaur tells the dispatcher that the shots are coming from the first floor hallway and that the shooter was firing into the classroom.
“They were shooting into your classroom,” the dispatcher asks?
“They were,” Plaur responded.
Two of their classmates were killed; Nicholas Dworet and Helena Ramsay.
Four others were wounded.
Schamis remembers Sid Fischer turning to her.
“It was Sid who looked at me and said, ‘Mrs. Schamis, are we going to die today?’ I think about that all the time,” she said.
Two and a half months after the shooting, the kids are clearly still trying to comprehend what they lived through.
“Part of my memory is just crumpled,” admitted Zaphrany. “I’m trying to put it back together to make it a story, ‘so this happened.'”
Daniel was the first to approach the door when he heard the first responders.
“They just screamed Coral Springs Police Department. We’re here.” Zaphrany announced the news to his teacher and classmates. “I told them, the help is here. We’re safe now.”
The student said they are now dedicating themselves to honoring the memories of Helena, an eternal optimist, and Nick, described as smart and talented.
Sid Fischer said, “Because their future was stripped we should look forward to ours.”
Kelly Plaur said, “Everything I do is for them and the other 15 who lost their lives.”
Hannah Carbozzi said, “We’re not going to let this stop what we’re doing in the future and our plans for life.”
For more information on the Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room at Nova Southeastern University, click here.