Student Testimony – Kimberly Nanci

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Photo by Taylor Finelli.

Kimberly Nanci

Major is graphic design, minor in psychology

Sophomore standing

   Well, everything was okay; it was normal. I finished with my English class and headed to the Student Union because there was an event hosted by the Rebel Events Board. I thought it would be a fun thing to do. I went and the line was way too long, so I decided to just go inside of the Student Union and remembered there was another event going on inside in the lounge area for the students. 

   The event was for study week, to take a break and have a chill time. I wanted to see what it was about. I did not stay for long, I just grabbed some snacks and went to Jamba Juice to get a bowl. Then I went to the bookstore to see if they had new books to check out. I sat in the bookstore for a while and tried leaving around 11:45 AM to meet with a friend. 

   My phone then started to notify me by my number, gmail, and the rebel security app that there was a shooting going on in the BEH building which I was really confused about because I did not really hear any gunshots.

   The workers told everyone in the bookstore to go to the back while they all locked the doors. This was not a drill and it was not fake. Everyone in that back room was panicking. Multiple people were crying and calling their parents. I didn’t really want to make my mom worry about me, but at the same time, I knew I had to call her, and I did.

   I also had a call with my brother, and he said that I should not be out in the open in case the shooter was going inside the building that I was in. He told me to hide in a place where the shooter couldn’t see me; I saw a table that had red cloth over it and so I went under there and laid there trembling because I needed to be quiet and silent. You never really know if the shooter could have gone in where I was or not. I made sure to stay quiet and not to move. I made sure my phone was on silent. At the moment I was very scared, but I said to myself, “I have to stay brave and put feelings aside,” because having a panic attack then and there wouldn’t have helped at all. 

   My friends kept texting me back-and-forth about their locations and how they were feeling; some of them were very anxious, very scared, very panicked, and the only way I could help them was to tell them that everything would be okay. “Everything‘s going to be okay. You guys are going to be okay. Just stay silent, stay hidden, and quiet your phones.” 

   The workers in the establishment turned off the lights and told people to go hide in the back and not move. I was very much paralyzed. After an hour or two, police enforcement came into our establishment and told us, “Put your hands up, put your hands up,” multiple times, and I just gathered my stuff and put my hands up. They said, “I want everyone in a single line. Start moving out, MOVE, MOVE, and don’t look back at the BEH and SU.” 

   We went out and they were guiding us out and telling us to go far from the campus and to cross the street. Some of the people that were in the line with me were laughing and just making fun of the situation, and I was very very serious because we were in a situation that if we did not do what we did, stuff could have gone down badly and they were just not taking the situation seriously. 

   I just know that I started running past Maryland Parkway by Chewy Boba and I hid in the back of a red Toyota car. I just kept trembling and trembling. There were other people there, too. I started to call my brother because he lives around there, and he said to me, “Do not move, I’m coming to get you,” and he came for me and we walked fast to his house and locked the door shut.

   After that, I just could not keep cool because I was back and forth, back and forth, texting and replying, calling most of my friends to calm down, saying that they are going to be okay and that the police are going to evacuate them one by one. After sometime, at 1 p.m, my friend that was hiding in the John S. Wright Hall was finally evacuated, but they searched him and others that were in his class, and he could not take anything with him. They did the same procedure for him to put his hands up and evacuate the area, so he couldn’t get his stuff or his car because SWAT was where his car was parked, and so I told him, “Why don’t you go where I am at and I will keep you safe for the meantime.” He did just that, I took him home with me and he stayed with me at my home for some hours. 

   I just know that I was very worried about my nieces, nephews, and friends because they also go to schools that are a part of CSN, and they also locked down the schools. I was still on and off calling and texting back my friends that were still being evacuated; some were in the library and others were much farther. My friends from the library took a while to evacuate. There were a lot of police men there searching them down and letting them go one by one to get out. They were eventually safe and got home.  

   One of my friends took more time to evacuate, and they took her to the Thomas and Mack Center, staying there for hours until they let her go. After some time, I knew that everyone that I knew was at home and safe. I felt very relieved. My heart wouldn’t stop beating and pounding though; my head wouldn’t stop hurting because at that moment, it really sank in that I could have died if I did not make the choices that I did. I had a complete meltdown with my mom and she told me that I should get some therapy after this traumatic event.

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