RICHMOND, Ind. (WDTN) – What started as a typical day at Richmond High School quickly took a turn when the principal came over the loudspeaker declaring a lockdown.
Richmond High School is about a mile away from Dennis Intermediate School, where the active shooter incident took place.
Students there say they were kept in the first period class for much of the day.
“It was real scary. We just sat there in silence for forty minutes,” said senior Skyler Reece. “We had no idea what was happening. We didn’t know how close it was, we didn’t know if it was in the school.”
Reece says the school later switched to “classroom secure,” meaning students had to remain in the same classroom but could continue lessons.
He says they only left the classroom in groups for lunch and bathroom breaks until about 2:30 in the afternoon.
“The teachers are very mature. They kept us calm. They kept us together,” Reece said.
Sophomore Tatianna Qualls says she also felt safe in her classroom but was worried about the people she knows at Dennis, where she went to middle school.
“I just kept on trying to be positive and think that nothing’s going to happen, and I was just texting everyone to make sure everything was okay,” she says.
In a Facebook live video Thursday evening, Superintendent Todd Terrill praised first responders, faculty, and families following the events that unfolded.
While Dennis Intermediate School will be closed through Monday, Terrill says the rest of the district will do its best to make school on Friday as normal as possible for the other buildings.
“We’re going to get better from this,” he said. “We’re going to learn from this, and we’re going to come through this even stronger.”
Terrill also mentioned that the Boys and Girls Club on the West Side will be open Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for Dennis students.
School officials say counseling services will be available to students, parents, and staff.