A 19-year-old Florida State University freshman from metro Atlanta was in the library studying when gunshots rang out.
“I had been in the library for about four hours. We heard two fairly loud noises. No one knew what it was,” she said.
The student asked that her name not be published at the direction of a campus organization she belongs to. She had been on the first floor working on a chemistry report and was in the process of moving to a quieter place to work when the incident occurred. Just when she placed her things down at her new work space, pandemonium broke out.
“All of a sudden everyone was scrambling and trying to get out,” she said. “It was so chaotic.”
She and some friends hustled out a back entrance and got outside, where the frenzy followed them.
“We just didn’t know what to do,” she said. “Everyone was running around on the sidewalks. We made it to a building that was next door. I knew I was going to be in there for a while. I didn’t get home until like 5:30 a.m.”
The student, a graduate from Walton High School in east Cobb County majoring in exercise science, said she and numerous classmates stayed in the adjacent building for a couple of hours before they were given the all-clear, then hung around until authorities were done questioning witnesses. She praised the quick and compassionate response.
“Security handled it so quickly. Within seconds (of the shooting) we heard sirens,” she said. “All the police officers were really comforting. It felt like we were safe. When it came time to leave all the cops were really helpful.”