As word of the lockdown at Glen Allen High School emerged, parents rushed to get in touch with their children inside the school. The district and Henrico police made sure moms and dads knew what was going on, as best as they say they could.
They set up a staging area at the Shoppes at CrossRidge on Staples Mill Road, which is just about a half mile from Glen Allen High School. It was considered ground zero for parents--the place where they gathered with Henrico Police to find out updates and for some, reunite with students.
"I'm just very happy everybody is fine, to see her smiling little face," Fran Cassell exclaimed as she was saw her daughter, Taylor.
The sophomore at Glen Allen had been stuck inside the school on lockdown.
"I don't even know to describe it," Taylor told us. "I was shocked and it didn't feel real. It didn't feel real at all."
Emotions ran high as parents hoped for any bit of information. Henrico officers posted at the shopping center updated families about every fifteen minutes. Authorities warned them that the large police presence and SWAT team sweeps were precautionary and they have to take every threat seriously.
Many of the folks gathered were also continuously texting and talking with their kids on their cell phones.
We overheard Cassell asking Taylor if everybody was calm. The sophomore responded, "There's peace and they're just trying to wait for some word."
Finally the word they'd been waiting for came.
An officer told the crowd, "It does sound like it's coming to a conclusion from the traffic that I've heard."
"I feel immediate peace right now and I hope it's not false but I just really feel at ease right now," Cassell reacted.
Now, they deal with the fallout and the memories of experiences no child should have to see.
"We saw all the cop cars outside the school and everyone was just on Twitter the whole time refreshing and refreshing," Taylor recalled.
Their loved ones will try to forget fear they should never have to feel.
"I was alarmed because you hear about this all over the place, so I would hate for anything to happen to her," Taylor's sister Jennifer added.
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