What It Feels Like to Be Shot At – A Shooting at My School

in #news3 years ago

Crime Scene

Photo by: Niko Dugan/The News-Gazette

Article #28, Published December 9, 2017 by Elijah Wasson

A quote for the read:

"A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies."
— George Washington

On Friday, December 8th, 2017, around 7:00 p.m. in Champaign, Illinois, I decided to go to a boys basketball game at my high school, which was just three blocks away from my house. Although it was cold, I just walked there since it was not far. The home game was against a nearby town and the gym was packed to its limits with people. It was an overall exciting gam, but it got pretty tense towards the end of the game, as the score was close and players had small confrontations with each other on the court. Our team ended up winning 76 to 66.

Winning team

A screenshot of a Snapchat video of students celebrating after our team won.

9:15 p.m., after the game was over, I sat and waited around for the crowds to clear up before I started walking back home. Not long after I had exited and hadn’t even left school grounds yet, a group of around twenty kids ran past me, all running over across the street to the corner of the next block. I looked over to see what they were running to, figuring it was probably a fight, but didn’t see anything other than the kids running over there. I looked behind me and saw two officers and an assistant principle, who were supervising the game, jogging behind following with flashlights. Again, I figured there was going to be some kind of gang fight.

As I watched over there with the officers not far behind me, a loud ‘pop’ went off. I knew exactly what it was at first, but thought, there’s no way it was a gun. I simply thought it was a firework, since kids at my high school like to set off fireworks every now and then. Then three more ‘pops’ went off, only this time they were followed with bullets. I don’t know how close they were to me, but they were close enough that I heard them whizzing past me.


I and the assistant principle got down, while the police officers pulled out their guns and took cover behind a nearby tree, yelling “We have shots fired!” I do not remember other people were around me other than those who were getting in their parked cars before the shots. The assistant principle ran over to the doors to the school and grabbed his keys to unlock them. We went inside the building to people who didn’t even have any idea what was going on. It was loud enough in there that no one had even heard the gun shots until others came in and told them was happened.


I walked the hallways to the front doors of the building where a few people were getting ready to leave. I told them, “You can’t go outside right now, there were gunshots,” and directed them away from the glass doors. Like I said, most of the people inside didn’t even know what happened just 200 feet away from the school. I continued to walk around trying to find people I knew to see if they were okay. As I walked down one hallway getting closer to the doors I came in through, I heard screaming outside. A girl had been shot on the same sidewalk I was on five minutes ago. Looking back on it now, I’m guessing she was walking probably 50 feet behind me when shot got hit. An ambulance came by to pick her up. Maybe thirty minutes later, they let everyone out of the building.

Crime scene

Photo by: Niko Dugan/The News-Gazette

A total of three bystanders were hit by bullets, all with non-life threatening injuries. When the shots were fired, to be honest with you, I was not scared. I actually felt nothing. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t pumped-up, I wasn’t anything. I didn’t blank out, it all just sort of happened. I remember everything that happened before and after the incident. One thing that still gets to me is the sound of the bullets that were flying by me. That is one sound you do not forget. I couldn’t see anything, the only thing I knew was that at any moment I could get hit.

The next morning, all the crime scene tape was taken down but police were still present, investigating the area. I walked back to the spot on the sidewalk I was when everything started, and watched police and janitors look at the window of the school that was struck. I realized that I wasn’t but a couple feet from the path of the shot that went into the window. That’s not the real part that makes me angry, though. What makes me angry is that I didn’t do enough outside of the building before going inside. Knowing that the girl was behind me on the sidewalk, I wish that I had help her get down and find cover before more shots were fired, if I could. I know my experience is nothing compared to those of people who experience this everyday of their lives. It is something I will never forget, and I am thankful that no one was seriously hurt by something they were not involved with.

Crime scene

Photo by: Niko Dugan/The News-Gazette

Crime scene

Photo by: Niko Dugan/The News-Gazette


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I'm a 16-year-old junior in high school. I've figured out that Steemit is a great way to express my feelings about certain topics and get paid for it! I like to start all my articles with a quote to get the reader to understand the 'feeling' of the article before they start reading it.

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Wow! What an experience.

Scary, glad no one was seriously hurt.

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