Two JROTC members responsible for saving lives at the Parkland shooting recounted the Valentine’s Day tragedy, explaining how they played a part in reducing the body count.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and JROTC company commander Zackary Walls and his fellow cadet told ABC news correspondents just how chaotic the situation was.
“It was crazy,” Walls said. “I had just got[ten] back into the classroom with my cadets, we were just out in formation for JROTC.”
“I’m a Captain, I’m a company commander, I’m in charge of a whole class period of about 55 to 60 kids,” he added.
Opting to let his company out of formation early, he began marching them back into the classroom.
“I don’t know why,” he said, “But something in me told me to go in early.”
At around 14:30, less than two minutes after settling into the classroom, the fire alarm sounded. Walls ordered the class into formation and ordered them into the hallway- which just so happened to be exactly where the shooter was.
“I did not see the shooter, but I heard the first two to three pops and knew it was gunfire,” he said.
Acting quickly, he ordered all the kids back into the classroom, wrangling frantic teachers and students along the way.
Cadet and MSDHS junior Colton Haab reports hearing seven shots and springing into action as well, linking up with Walls and suggesting utilizing Kevlar curtains in the classroom to help slow down any incoming fire.
“We made a wall in front of all the kids out of the Kevlar pads,” Walls said.
“After yesterday, I’m glad we had them, even though we never needed them,” Haab said.
The two boys claim they were ready to fight if need be, with Walls possessing training from the Coral Springs Police Explorers.
The actions of the two boys, no doubt saved many lives that day- a tribute to how important training and a good program can be for young men and women.
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