"Are we going to die today?"

Some of the shots struck the ceiling. “Dust was falling. I felt my mouth get really dry from the dust,” said Daniel, who had been thinking of becoming a firefighter and paramedic. He made up his mind after the shooting and hopes to attend a local fire academy. “It almost felt crunchy, like I was eating sand.”

Samantha Fuentes had staggered across the room toward the windows at one point, crashing into a tangle of desks and bruising her face. “I could hear the shots behind me and screaming everywhere,” she said. “I threw myself on the floor and started crawling toward the other kids.”

Within seconds, one group had shoved another laptop cabinet, podium and a file cabinet together to make a barricade.

Helena, a junior, calmly instructed students to quickly grab books from the bookshelf for protection. Helena’s best friend, Samantha, snatched a thin blue book, using it, for a time, to shield her face. She would end up with a graze wound requiring 14 staples.