Local teen received message from best friend in Florida: ‘I'm in - KCTV5 News

Local teen received message from best friend in Florida: ‘I'm in a school shooting’

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Imagine finding out your friend's life is in danger and learning about a school shooting across the country before the news even hit the airwaves.

This week, a family here in KC prayed for loved ones in Florida who witnessed the Parkland High School shooting.

“He said, ‘I'm in a school shooting. Tell Madi I love her. Just in case.’”

It was the text message that made Natasha Wratchford pull off the highway to fully process.

“I had to stop to take a doubletake and then decide what I was going to do,” she said.

The text came from her daughter Madison's best friend, Connor, who lives in the Ft. Lauderdale area and attends Parkland High School.

It was so scary to think he was in danger at school.

Madison and Connor met in Australia on a student ambassador trip. The two of them visit each other in the summers, talk nearly every day, and even their families have become close.

“He's my best friend,” Madison said. “We do everything we can together. We tell each other everything.”

Connor had texted Madison’s mother in case the worst happened. A teacher had him turn his phone off as he hid in a classroom closet.

“I was listening to the news,” Natasha said. “I had people sending me messages, updating me.”

Connor's father is a police officer and his mother is a first responder. Both were called to the high school to help dozens of injured students.

“I couldn't imagine what she was thinking,” Natasha said, “because she's not only going for her son; she's going for her job.”

Luckily, Connor and his brother were not physically harmed, but the school shooting across the country hit close to home for Madison and her family.

Like many families this week, they wonder if it could happen here.

“Honestly, we don't know what could happen on a given day,” Madison said. “It's sad we have to think about that.”

Now, they say, it's time for a change.

“When it comes to school shootings, we haven't done what we need to,” said Madison.

“We've got to come together and find another way,” said Natasha. “What's happening now shouldn't be happening.”

Madison and her mother said Conner and his brother are still processing the events of this past week. One of the boys lost a close friend in the shooting.

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