Signs of solidarity in wake of shooting

SANTA FE, Texas – As the community mourns the loss of eight students and two teachers killed inside Santa Fe High School last Friday, students are doing their best to heal.

“It’s kind of hard, it feels kind of weird being at work, because it scares me a little bit not being safe besides at my home,” explained Jayda Overbeck, a Santa Fe High School student who works at Lorenzo’s Pizza.

She and her best friend, Kearsteyn Whitman, were back to work on Monday answering phones and taking orders side-by-side, but in the back of their minds is what happened last Friday.

“I thought it was a regular fire drill. I walked out and I was in the back of the school. My boyfriend called me and I’m like, 'Why is he calling me? It’s a normal fire drill,'” said Whitman, who is a sophomore. “I answered it and he’s like, ‘Where are you?’ He came and found me because he was right next to it and he grabbed me and we started walking to the back road, he heard three or four gunshots, we started running and we jumped over a fence into this guy’s backyard and kept running.”

Overbeck said she was on the other end of the school, and she too thought it was just a drill.

“I was inside but I wasn’t near it, I was on the other side of the school, I was in the English hallway so we thought it was just a fire drill the whole time. So we got out safe and we just walked out,” explained Overbeck.

“Then teachers were telling us to run so I thought it was a real fire, I thought something blew up in the school, so I ran across Highway 6 behind that shop and there were a bunch of kids back there saying there was a shooter and I didn’t believe it, so I called my brother and he was crying and he was right next to it and I thought he was shot, but he didn’t (get shot). I started freaking out and I got into shock, I ended up seeing him and then just scary.”

The two best friends were OK, but they too, knew some of the victims.

“I played softball with one of them and I believe two of them were in my class, one of them was in my group for algebra, Kim, she was so sweet and it’s just heartbreaking that she’s one that passed away, any of them, it’s heartbreaking,” said Whitman.

As Santa Fe continues to mourn the loss of those killed and begin to heal, across the city there are signs of solidarity and a city that’s strong.

“Santa Fe Strong” is displayed all over town and businesses have placed green and yellow balloons and ribbons outside their buildings.

“Today, I saw other school (students) around us wearing Santa Fe shirts, it made me really happy to know that they’re thinking about us and they care,” said Overbeck.