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Parents, students react to Rigby Middle School shooting

RIGBY, Idaho (KIFI) - Following the shooting at Rigby Middle School Thursday, parents and students had tearful reunions.

"Through my whole life, I never thought I'd have to go through something like this."

Parents were running errands or working when they got word something was going on at Rigby Middle School.

"My phone started blowing up from my other daughter, and she wanted to know if maren was okay, and I said, why wouldn't she be, she's at school," parent Sandy King said. "And she said there was a shooting. And I was in a store up the street and I just dropped everything, and I just ran out screaming, there was a shooting at the school. And I drove over here, I was only half a mile from here and I just drove over, jumped out of my car and started running."

"I work from home, so I was just in a meeting, video conference when my wife texted me that something was happening at the school, she just said it was a lockdown. And as I headed over to the school, she said three people may have got shot," parent Seth Long said.

Seventh-grader Maren King said students in the school first thought it was a drill.

"Kind of like, 'Wow, the principal has gotten more creative with these lockdowns, making fake noises and stuff.'"

But, this time it was real.

"A woman on the intercom said it's a lockdown, but then she repeated herself, and for some reason, that just made everything more urgent," Maren said. "And we were freaking out, a few kids were crying, some kid was next to me, and I was trying to rub his back, make him feel better."

"We didn't think anything of it at first until we heard footsteps in the hallway and then we heard a police siren. And that when we started realizing it was real and it was an emotional rollercoaster," seventh-grader Madison Jensen said. "But I'm just glad we're all safe now. Other than the three, I know they're going to heal from this, and I hope everyone stays safe from now on."

Madison, and countless other students and staff, used their phones to let their loved ones know what was going on.

"I texted everybody I knew," Madison said while hugging her mom. Her mom said it was hard not knowing what was going on. "I texted to see if she was okay. And I didn't know what was going on, so your mind goes to the very worst place. It's a relief that your daughter's okay, but someone else's isn't. So that just is sad."

Hugs between kids and their parents and parents comforting other kids.

"I was just focused on getting here for her, and once I found her, then we began to just help other kids, just letting them know everything was ok, and kids were breaking down, and hugging them and telling them everybody lived and everybody was okay. Just helping them with their trauma."

All Jefferson schools will be closed Friday, but counselors will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Rigby High School. Counselors will continue to be available as needed.

School will resume on Monday, May 10.

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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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