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Active shooter hoax causes panic for students, parents: ‘I thought I was going to lose everything’

Posted at 7:16 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 19:18:03-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Stephanie Drain was one of hundreds of parents who rushed to Moody Middle School Monday after a report of an active shooter near the Henrico school.

“You just can’t get here quick enough to only be stopped and put in waiting,” said parent Stephanie Drain.

The school was put on lockdown after Henrico Police received an E-911 text indicating there was an “active shooter” along the 7800 block of Woodman Road, where Moody Middle School is located.

“We all just stayed in the corner that we were in while we were hiding,” said seventh-grader Tristin Drain.

Tristin Drain and mom Stephanie Drain

“All I could hear was a commotion in the background and her trying to whisper to me which I couldn’t make out what she was saying, and I am trying to ask her if she’s okay and then the phone went dead. Which to me sent a whole other panic,” said Drain.

As police searched the school, parents were asked to meet at North Run Baptist Church to receive updates on the situation and word on when they could pick up their children.

“I flew out of the house like a bat out of hell… paranoid, scared. It doesn’t happen to you. It doesn’t happen where you live. It’s like a dream, I’m watching a movie, but it’s real life… So terrified,” said, parent Melissa Elliot.

“It is difficult to be outside the school and know your child is in there just a few feet away and not be able to embrace him and get him out and let him know everything is okay,” said parent Chris Gruszkos.

Two hours after police were called to the school the scene was cleared and parents were permitted to pick up their children.

A long line of parents, eagerly anticipating reuniting with their kids, formed outside the school.

“Thank God. Thank God. Because I prayed the whole way here with tears running down my face,” said Drain.

Tristin Drain

“A speech on it wouldn’t be enough to tell you how scared I was in that moment,” said Tristin through tears. “I thought I was going to lose my mom and my dad. I thought I was going to lose everything. It really did scare me.”

Henrico police say they have identified a person of interest and are still in the preliminary stages of their investigation.

There will be an increased police presence at the school on Tuesday.