Dennis Intermediate School, Richmond, Indiana
Photo: MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF
Photo: MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

Richmond school shooting: ‘It sounded like a pistol,’ fifth-grader says of gunshots

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“It was calm until they said it was a lockdown. Everybody thought it was a drill until they said it again really fast,” said fifth-grader Jayla Henderson.

Then, moments later, Jayla said she and her fifth-grade classmates knew it was real.

“It sounded like a pistol,” she said of at least three gunshots she heard as her teacher ordered students under their desks.

PHOTOS: Richmond school shooting

“She was trying to keep us quiet because everyone was panicking,” Jayla said.

It’s not easy for a mother to hear her fifth-grade daughter talking about gunfire at school.

“I don’t like it, shouldn’t be that way. I don’t know how things get to this. It’s sad,” said Jayla’s mother, Danielle Hurd.

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She had been waiting anxiously for hours to finally see her daughter.

“To have her in my arms is unexplainable. There are no words,” she said. 

It was quite a moment after parents got the call — there was a shooter at school. 

“She said there was a shooting at school you need to get to your son. What is that call like? I just woke up, I panicked. I about had a whole heart attack and a half, that’s my son," said Dennis Intermediate parent Tina Hunt. 

Hunt’s son was close to the gunfire, too. 

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“He heard like four shots and he ran underneath the table. He said he was scared. I said, ‘I don’t blame you I‘d be scared, too,’” she told him. 

Many parents and grandparents, including Hunt, couldn’t yet see their loved ones, but knew they were safe. 

“A big relief. I can breathe now,” said grandparent Linda Wallace. “It’s got me real emotional. And I was just praying my grandkids were OK.”

This community is still trying to process the violence here. But mostly there is a tremendous wave of relief after authorities thwarted a mass shooting, thanks to a well-timed tip. 

“You definitely count your blessings this time of year, and especially moments like today,” Hurd said.

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