The texts prompted many netizens to note in frustration that even the latest shooting incident is unlikely to trigger any sort of gun reform.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing
On October 6, parents of children who attend the Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, received text messages no parent would ever want to receive. "Mom, this is not a drill and I love you," read the text Kimberly Middleton received from her daughter. Terrified students sent urgent text messages to their families as they hid in classrooms, hallways, and closets in the aftermath of an active shooter situation that injured four people. "I was like 'there's a school shooting!'" a student named Asawer Jorad told CBSDFW. "'Come pick us up!'" Jorad revealed that like many of her peers, she initially thought it was merely a drill when she heard the lockdown command over the intercom.
My thoughts are with the students, educators, staff and families of Timberview High School in Arlington as we continue to learn details about today’s shooting. https://t.co/QghaQtMbKx— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 6, 2021
"When police started coming, I was like 'No, this is real. This is really happening,'" Jorad said. Another student who was in the classroom next door to the fight that ended in gunfire said the gunshots were followed by cries for help. "The guy that got grazed, or shot, he was raising his hand and telling the teacher, our teacher, that he got hit, got shot, and that he was bleeding out right now," said Sergio Caballero.
The messages above were between Stella Oigo, and her son Tervil. They lost a family member to gun violence years ago, which added to the urgency of the moment yesterday. pic.twitter.com/YmbyNsXKfM— Jason Allen (@CBS11JasonAllen) October 7, 2021
One text exchange between a Timberview student and his mom sent chills across social media this week after it was shared by CBS reporter Jason Allen. "Texts a mother shared with me from her son, during the shooting at a high school today in Mansfield. Captures the moment well," Allen tweeted. The screenshot he shared showed the heartbreaking text messages between Stella Oigo, and her son Tervil, who informed his mom of the shooting and pleaded with her to help him. "They lost a family member to gun violence years ago, which added to the urgency of the moment yesterday," Allen explained in another tweet.
Texts a mother shared with me from her son, during the shooting at a high school today in Mansfield. Captures the moment well pic.twitter.com/sS6HxpMW9J— Jason Allen (@CBS11JasonAllen) October 6, 2021
The tweet prompted a strong reaction from netizens as many noted in frustration that the latest shooting incident — like all those before it — is unlikely to trigger any sort of gun reform. "Well, I am wrecked. This is not 'the price of freedom.' This is the cost of coddling weapon fetishists," tweeted Liz Gumbinner. "Can't do anything about this -- or even *try* to -- because some guys thought the militias needed rifles to fight the British army in the late 18th century. F**k off," wrote Ken Tremendous. "Every person who votes for an anti-gun-control politician is complicit in this terrorism, which is what it is in the literal sense of that word," commented Mehdi Hasan.
Heartbreaking texts like these are preventable.— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) October 7, 2021
Every Senator, regardless of party, shouldn't have to think twice about passing legislation that could help rid our kids' classrooms of this senseless gun violence. https://t.co/0PMLqhci0F
The overwhelming majority of the country wants gun control, but a few lobbyists don’t and the filibuster is sacred so instead we live in a country where students experience this https://t.co/jVE4js2MEH— Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyn1cole) October 6, 2021
Only in the US do we put up with this madness. And for what? Gun nuts? Gun manufacturers? Most of us are against this shit and yet nothing changes.— IvoryKnight (@CastleShore) October 6, 2021
Even shooter drills are traumatizing for kids (and adults).— Jess P. 😷 (@Jessnj4554) October 6, 2021
This is NOT NORMAL. We are the only country in the world that prefers to prepare for active shooters over just preventing them to begin with. I’m so sad for our kids.
Parents who rushed to Timberview High after getting alerts about the shooting were directed to a reunification center at the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts where students had been taken once the all-clear was given. After hours of passing IDs and filling out paperwork, the reunion was an emotional affair for many. "Today could have ended so much differently than what it did," said parent Stephanie Wade. "When you wake up in the morning, you think it's going to be one way and it ends up being a completely different way. You never know when it's going to be your last day. So I am very thankful to have my daughter with me."
Tears in my eyes as I read it. Could imagine my own daughter texting me. I am so sorry for this child and mother.— Francine (@francineromary) October 6, 2021
Meanwhile, one parent praised the school district for the way they handled the crisis. "I do thank Mansfield ISD because they did keep the communications open. I mean, I was driving but we got text messages and emails. So I think they did a really good job of informing the parents," they said. State Representative Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, who represents the area surrounding the school, said: "I'm glad to hear that about the emails and text messages. Communication is key in a time of crisis."