Buenos Aires Times


Argentine who survived Florida shooting: "It was the worst day of my life."

14-year-old Sol Duarte saw dead bodies and ‘blood everywhere’ as she was evacuated from Stoneman Douglas High School.

Saturday 17 February, 2018
Students are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after a shooter opened fire on the campus.
Students are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after a shooter opened fire on the campus. Foto:AFP/FEDERICO PARRA

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Sol Duarte, a 14-year-old Argentine who survived the massacre at a Florida high school on Wednesday in which 17 people were killed, recalled the horror, terror and uncertainty she and her peers experienced in an interview on Thursday.

Duarte said she was bodies lying on the ground and “blood everywhere.” She also explained that she heard shots while being evacuated from the school by police officers, after having hid for more than two hours in her classroom.

“It was the worst day of my life,” she said in an interview with the Télam state news agency. “We saw children and students lying on the floor, bleeding. We saw horrible things.”

The teenager, who is in her ninth year at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the town of Parkland, said that in the middle of a class they began to notice strange sounds that were coming across the intercom system used to deliver announcements to students.

“When there were 20 minutes left before we left the school [for the day], the director’s voice was heard ordering us all to evacuate the classrooms,” she said.

Then, “we went out into the hall but immediately we began to hear shots, about three or four shots and we got back inside the classroom,” Duarte added.

In a later interview with Radio Nacional, the youngster said she couldn’t initially process what was happening.

“I thought it was a simulation – and it was real,” she said in a later interview.

The FBI said yesterday that it received a detailed warning last month that Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was a danger but that it failed to act.

“On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line tipline to report concerns about him,” the FBI said in a statement.

“The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” it said.

The information was not handled appropriately, however, the top US law enforcement agency said, and no action was taken.

Cruz, 19, shot dead 17 people on Wednesday using an AR-15- style rifle that he had legally purchased.



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