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Saturday 21 July 2018

'Keep running', mum told Dublin teenager during school massacre

Olga Hurley, her husband and shooting survivor Adelina.
Olga Hurley, her husband and shooting survivor Adelina.

The mother of a Dublin teenager who was caught up in Wednesday's horrific school shooting in which 17 people were killed has said she begged her daughter to "just keep running" during the attack.

Speaking yesterday, Olga Hurley said that it was a "blessing" that her daughter Adelina (16) survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday.

Olga lived in Ireland for 18 years before she moved from Clontarf, Dublin, to the US six months ago with her husband and their two children.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One yesterday, Olga, who is originally from Russia, said that it was only when she went to collect Adelina from school at around 2.30pm on Wednesday that she saw more than 100 police cars approaching the building from all directions and knew that something was seriously wrong.

Adelina said: "It was about 10 minutes before we were going to be dismissed to go home, the fire drill went off and everyone assumed it was just a normal fire drill.

"Then the teachers started to look worried, there were helicopters flying overhead and we saw stuff on the internet about a shooting.

"It was really scary because you were running and everyone was running, screaming and some people were crying. People were like climbing the fence just to get out as fast as they could.

"The teacher told our group to run along a secret route to the mall."

Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder following a Parkland school shooting
Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder following a Parkland school shooting

Olga was desperately trying to call and text her daughter to see if she was safe and she said she was relieved when she finally heard from Adelina.

Shooter

"Eventually she saw my texts and calls and she called and said, 'Mum, I'm running'," Olga said. "I asked her where she was going to but she didn't know, she said she was just running. Once I heard her voice, I knew she would be OK because she was with a lot of people.

"At the same time I heard on the news that the shooter hadn't been caught.

"There was panic, I didn't know what to think. I just kept telling her 'Keep running, keep running and don't be alone'," she said.

"I was so relieved to see my beautiful child in front of me. It's a gift. Honestly, it's a blessing."

Adelina said being on the phone to her mum made her feel better.

The family said that they received confirmation overnight on Thursday that one of Adelina's classmates was among the victims of the massacre at the school.

Adelina added that going back to school "will bring back emotions from it… but I think everyone will overcome it. It will be OK".

Joe Zevuloni mourns in front of a cross placed in a park to commemorate the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida. Photo: Reuters
Joe Zevuloni mourns in front of a cross placed in a park to commemorate the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida. Photo: Reuters

Former pupil Nikolas Cruz (19) has since been charged with murdering 17 people at his former school in Parkland, an affluent suburb north of Miami, Florida.

It has since emerged that he was trained to shoot by white supremacist group Republic of Florida, who said that he "acted on his own behalf".

Cruz passed a background check to buy the AR-15 rifle and ammunition, despite previously being treated at a mental health facility.

This is the 18th school shooting in the US so far this year and President Donald Trump has vowed to "tackle the difficult issue of mental health".

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