Students and parents at an Ohio school are reeling after a tragic and senseless school shooting on Monday. And while the horrifying events were unfolding inside the school, students took to Twitter to express their disbelief, their fears, and to ask for prayers.
One student has died in the aftermath of the 7:30am shooting in the school cafeteria at Chardon High School, Ohio on Monday, and four are injured. The gunman, identified as a student at the school, is in custody.
While the gunman was firing in the cafeteria, several students took to Twitter to share their experiences and ask for help.
What’s Trending first spotted the tweets sent during the horrifying event:
School in lockdown. Kid with a gun. Oh shit.
— Karli Focker (@KarliSensi) February 27, 2012
Shots in the school. What the heck. This is messed up.
— Seanna sicher (@Seannabananaz) February 27, 2012
#Prayforus Gunman in the school.
— Gatt (@Goergen1) February 27, 2012
And still other students tweeted in the minutes and hours following the shooting, lockdown and evacuation.
These students turned to Twitter during a moment of pure chaos in their lives, hoping to reach out and connect to others witnessing the events, or someone who could help them.
Twitter has been used as an emergency broadcast system in the past, such as during the New Zealand Christchurch earthquake, where officials used Twitter to communicate emergency information like road closures to citizens.
The students at Chardon High School weren’t using Twitter as an official means of communication, but rather as a way to reach out to fellow students and the wider world during a moment of panic – showing just how powerful Twitter is as an emergency broadcast and two-way communication channel.