Alicia Acuna was reporting from outside East High School in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday after a student produced a handgun during a search and opened fire, seriously injuring two school administrators.
Acuna excused herself suddenly as she saw her son approaching. “I’m sorry, I have not seen my kid since this all went down,” she said, embracing her child. “I’ll just finish this real quick, OK?” she told her son as they hugged.
Resuming her coverage, Acuna reported that her son “was the one who was telling me what was happening” during the ordeal, combined with information from her sister, whose daughter also attends the school.
Colleague and friend Alicia Acuña @aacuna1 did a remarkable job reporting live from a shooting at her children’s high school in Denver today. Here she is hugging her son. So glad they are safe. Love you Alicia. pic.twitter.com/YUk2nktqD9
— Bryan Llenas (@BryanLlenas) March 22, 2023
Acuna said she had been sitting at her desk working on a different story when her son texted her that there were “police officers everywhere” at school and that “the assembly was shut down, and there were cops guarding their door.”
She said her niece was hiding in a closet, texting her mom. Her two stepsons are also enrolled at East High School, and she has two children who already graduated.
Wednesday’s shooting comes just over a month after an East High student was killed in a separate shooting near the school. At least a thousand students staged a mass walkout in response to that incident, calling for stronger gun control laws.
According to Acuna, the victim in the Feb. 13 shooting, 16-year-old Luis Garcia, sat beside her son in Spanish class.
“The students here have already been rocked by that,” she said. “It’s been a pretty tough school year for these kids.”
The shooter in the latest incident, a 17-year-old male student, fled the school after opening fire and remains at large, according to Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas. The school is closed for the rest of the week.