Michael Harrison, 26, learned there had been a shooting at Saugus High School when his sister, a 17-year-old senior, texted him: “there is a shooter, call 911.”
“I can’t even describe it, man,” Harrison said with a panicked laugh. “Imagine getting that text.”
Harrison was standing with Kimberly Simpson, 30, across the street from Saugus’ main entrance where dozens of emergency vehicles and sheriff’s deputies in tactical gear had flooded the street.
One deputy could be heard telling a parent that law enforcement was conducting a “systematic search,” to clear all the classrooms. Simpson has three children on lockdown this morning.
Her 15-year-old daughter, a junior, was also in class when a teacher ordered students to do what they had drilled for, referring to shooting lockdown procedures.
“She’s freaked out. She’s scared,” Simpson said. “I don’t know if she’s going to want to go back.”
Simpson’s 14-year-old son, a freshman, was also on his way to school but was running late, so she pulled him back inside his home after reports of gunfire.
Another son, 10 years old, was on lockdown at a neighboring elementary school.
The shooting left five people wounded, three critically. A suspect, described by sources as a student at the school, was in police custody.
Mario Beltran, a 65-year-old neighbor who has lived across the street from the school for four decades, said he was floored to wake up and see a phalanx of police and firefighters on the block.
“You see this on the news in some other school district ... in some other state.”