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After two weeks in the hospital, a Parkland school shooting survivor was released and he went back home.
The 15-year-old student described his experience in the Feb. 14 tragedy in which he was shot in the foot during an NBC News interview.
Seventeen people were fatally shot and nine others were injured by the gunman, who used a semi-automatic rifle.
A Parkland school shooting survivor who was injured said school resource officer Scot Peterson was a “coward” for not confronting the gunman, whom he said looked like the “Grim Reaper.”
Kyle Laman, 15, said he was just having a “normal day” on Feb. 14. However, at about 2:20 p.m., the fire alarms went off.
“We all went in the hallway. We were on the third floor. Every single person is in the hallway and no one’s really moving … I kinda got a really bad feeling,” Kyle said.
Seventeen people, mostly teenage students, were fatally shot at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
As the shooting developed, Kyle realized some of the doors on the floor were locked.
“All of the sudden, just screaming,” Kyle said.
Kyle said a teacher who is taller was able to gauge the situation and he immediately told his students: “Get in the classroom. Now.”
“I freaked out. This is my No. 1 fear,” Kyle said. “Everyone was scattering like ants.”
Kyle was in the middle of the hallway and he didn’t know where to go. His teacher was trying to get a door open.
“That’s when I saw the shooter, and he looked at me and I looked at him and he pointed the gun and then I dove” into the entrance of a bathroom, Kyle said. “This is real. I couldn’t believe it.”
Within seconds, Kyle was shot in the foot.
“He looked like the Grim Reaper. He had a hoodie on, so I couldn’t see his face … he looks like death,” Kyle said, describing what he thought when he locked eyes with the gunman.
The door to the bathroom was locked as gunfire raged. Kyle said he’s thankful it was locked because, if not, he and his friend who was near him would have hidden in the bathroom – giving the gunman the opportunity to “clear out, and we would have died.”
Kyle knew he had to run for his life. He peeked around the corner and saw the gunman was looking into a classroom. He ran toward cover but the gunman began shooting.
“I could see the debris of the bullets hitting the wall and falling off,” Kyle said.
The first door from which Kyle attempted to escape was blocked by the body of another student – a girl. He found another door and opened it, making it to the first floor.
“Sadly, I saw coach Feis – his body there … let him rest in peace,” Kyle said, referring to assistant football coach Aaron Feis who has been described by witnesses as a hero for his actions to protect students during the shooting.
In a parking lot, Kyle saw other students and eventually found shelter in a locker room, where first responders stopped his foot’s bleeding.
Kyle said he had to take action or else he would have died. School resource officer Peterson has been condemned after the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said he took no action as the shooting occurred. Peterson later released a statement defending himself.
“I feel it’s pity – well, not really pity but I feel like he’s a coward … That’s his job. He was supposed to go in there and he was supposed to protect and he didn’t do that, which is sad – really sad, because if you’re gonna sign up for a job to protect the school, protect the kids, they rely on you,” Kyle said. “Every single person that was in that building who has passed, who has gotten injured, relied on that police officer. Teachers, and even some of the kids, have defended themselves and have saved kids, other people, and that guy was just nowhere to be found.”
Some two weeks after the shooting, Kyle went back home on Thursday. He said he’s ready to go back to the school that he “absolutely” loves and is eager to see his friends. He’s thankful for the “overwhelming” support he and the other victims have received.
Kyle, who wants to be a fire paramedic, said he lost four friends in the shooting.
“They did not deserve this,” Kyle said.