MATTHEW WALKER WOULD NEVER forget the next few minutes. He recognized the terrifying sounds the instant they cracked through the night. His body went cold and numb all over. He couldn’t believe that someone was shooting a high-powered rifle in this neighborhood. Bam,Bam, Bam ….. Bam, Bam, Bam.

His 4th period Computer Science was just letting out. Thirty teenage students streaming past him toward the sidewalk. They had just finished their christmas Finals, before the holidays and had done excellent. Then came the gunfire. Lots of it. Not just a single shot. A strafing. An attack. Bam, Bam, Bam …..Bam, Bam, Bam.

“Get down!” he screamed at the top of his voice. “Everyone down on the ground!” Cover your heads. Cover up! He almost couldn’t believe the words as they left his mouth. At, first, no one seemed to hear him. To the kids in their white and blue uniforms, the shots must have seemed like firecrackers. Then a round of shots rained through the schools windows as glass shattered some of it falling on the heads of the students.

“Someones Shooting!” Walker screamed. Maybe more than one person. How could that be? He ran wildly, through the students, shouting, waving his arms, pushing as many as he could down to the grass.

As, the students finally crouched low or dove for the ground, Walker spotted two of his students, Tamara and Jessica on the lawn as bullets streaked past them. “Get down, Tamara, Jessica! he yelled, but they remained their, hugging each other, emitting frantic wails. They were best friends. He had known them since they were in 9th grade, and this year they were about to graduate. There was never any doubt in his mind. He sprinted toward the two girls, grasped their arms firmly, and tumbled them to the ground. Then he lay holding them, pressing there bodies tightly. Bullets whined over his head, just inches away. His eardrums hurt. His body trembling and so where the girls shielded beneath him. He was almost sure he was about to die. “It’s all right, girls, ” He whispered. Then , as suddenly as it had begun, the firing stopped. A hush of silence hung in the air. So Strange and eerie, as if the whole world has stopped to listen.

As he raised himself, his eyes fell on an incredible sight. Slowly, every one of the students struggled to their feet. There was some crying, but he didn’t see any blood. No one seemed to be hurt. “Everyone okay?” Walker called out. He made his way through the crowd of students, ” Is anyone Hurt? ”

“I’m Okay…I’m Okay” came back to him. He looked around in disbelief. This was a miracle. Then he heard the sound of a single student whimpering. He turned and spotted Emma Ronald, only 15 years old. Emma was standing on the sun bleached concrete steps of the hallway entrance. She seemed lost. Choking sobs pouring from her open mouth.  Then Matthew Walker’s eyes came to rest on what had made the girl hysterical. He felt his heart sink. Even in war, even growing up on the streets of New York, he had never felt anything so horrible, so sad and senseless.

“Oh God. Oh no. How could you let this happen?” Abby Walker, just 14 years old, lay in a curled up ball in a flowerbed near the foundation of the school. Her white school shirt was soaked in blood. Matthew Walker’s whole world had just been shaken. Finally, Dr. Richard Graham the Principle began to cry himself.

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