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The fire alarm blared. Then the gunshots began and students ran for their lives

The day was almost over and students were puzzled because the fire alarm was going off a second time Wednesday.

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Steve Almasy (CNN)
(CNN) — The day was almost over and students were puzzled because the fire alarm was going off a second time Wednesday.

Some students headed out as if it were a drill, but their fun was suddenly interrupted by a burst of gunfire.

It soon became clear there was a killer in their school and their lives were in danger.

Here are the words of some of the students who went through the tragedy that took at least 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida:

Teacher killed

CNN affiliate WSVN spoke to a student who said her teacher was killed. The girl, identified only as Alex, said she and her classmates were leaving because of a fire alarm.

"People were halfway down the stairwell, it just stopped, the alarm stopped. And we heard gunshots coming from the first floor, the second floor and people were running upstairs. We all got upstairs and into our classroom. As (my teacher) was closing the door he was actually shot and killed right there. The door was left open the whole time so as (the shooter) walked by, the door was open. He could have walked in at any time. "

'I heard shots'

A boy told WPLG he heard shots about 20 minutes before the end of school. Everyone headed outside to their appointed meeting areas.

"At 2:19 p.m. I heard shots. We ran outside. No one knew anything that was happening because the fire alarm already went off that day in second period. So (during the afternoon alarm) everyone was messing around. Once we heard (the shooting) we were running outside. We were going in our zones; we have certain zones that we have to be in. I started hearing like six gunshots like far away, but I could still hear them clear as day. And as soon as that ended, I told everyone we gotta go. We gotta run."

Sounded like firecrackers

A girl who gave her name as Isabella told WPTV the scene was very chaotic because of the blaring fire alarm, especially because it was going off just before the end of the day.

"I heard screaming. I heard about five, six gunshots. We thought they were firecrackers because it sounded like them. We weren't sure what was used. We heard the police yelling. We heard banging on the doors."

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