On Wednesday, a mother whose son was at the STEM School Highlands Ranch when the shooting occurred shared texts she received from him while the shooting was in progress.
In the messages, the boy only referred to as Owen, told his mother that 'It's a school shooting.'
Owen is an eighth-grade student at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Denver, Colorado. He texted his mother, Cami Brainard, 34, as the ordeal played out.
The messages left Brainard fearful for her child’s safety and on Wednesday she revealed, "I was terrified of this happening." She confessed, "I thought about it every day" adding "And it happened."
The back-and-forth exchange of texts between herself and her son lasted for about 14 minutes. At the time, Owen stayed hidden in a classroom.
Brainard took to Facebook to share the text messages and a brief recording that her son made on his phone during the school shooting. The parent was at the hair salon where she works when she received the messages from her 14-year-old son at around 2:09 p.m. on Tuesday.
Owen shared with his mother that "There were gunshots. We are about to get escorted to leave." Confused she asked him where this was happening and if he could call her.
He simply answered informing her he couldn’t because they had to remain silent. As she texted him wanting to find out if he was fine, she witnessed police cars and fire engines driving by with their sirens wailing.
Panicking and concerned for her son’s wellbeing she asked him if he was ok and his chilling reply was "Sort of.” Brainard pleaded with Owen to tell her what was going on.
That’s when he informed her "It's a school shooting." Owen wrote. Becoming hysterical she begged him to keep texting her with information but he told her he couldn’t because “we have to keep our hands free.”
Finally, at 2:23 p.m. he texted: "We are outside." Safely home later that night, Owen played her the recording he’d made while his cell phone was in his pocket.
Yelling and gunshots could be heard in the background. Brainard said: "Knowing that that's my child and that he actually had lived through that ... he's going to be scarred for the rest of his life.”
Owen admitted that his "legs were shaking and his teeth were chattering he was in such fear.”
A student named Kendrick Castillo, 18, was killed after he lunged after one of the shooters to stop them. Eight others were injured in the shooting at the suburban Denver school which is not far from Columbine High.
One of the suspects was identified as Devon Erickson, 18. The second suspect is a juvenile and they both attend the school.
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