While students were still fleeing the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Al Degregorio and his wife Carol found themselves speeding toward the scene of the tragedy.
Degregorio, a former Long Islander, said his son described through text messages that he was taking cover in an office with other students and faculty after hearing gunshots.
“Our hearts sank with the thought that at any time this deranged killer could enter their room and they would have no chance to defend themselves,” said Degregorio, who felt helpless while only a few hundred yards from the school. “I continued to have feelings of fear for both of my children’s safety. Thoughts of, how would I even go on if something happened to my kids entered my mind, and I started to add anger to the feelings of fear. No parent should have to feel what we were feeling at that moment.”