A photo shows a string of terrified text messages a mother received from her son on Wednesday morning during a shooting at his high school in Arlington, Texas. Four people were injured in the shooting, including three who were hospitalized, and the suspect was taken into custody.
A screenshot of the texts, obtained by CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, quickly went viral within hours of being posted.
"Mom there's a shooting. Mom help," the student texted their mom when the shooting broke out.
The texts were sent at 9:15 am on Wednesday, around the same time that police responded to a call about a reported shooting on the second floor of Timberview High School. Officials believe the shooting may have happened after two students started fighting in class, and the suspect, 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins, pulled out a gun.
Two victims had been shot and two others were injured. Three of the victims were hospitalized, with at least one requiring surgery.
"Mom I'm scared," the woman's son wrote. After she asked if he was safe, he responded, "IDK [I don't know] mom."
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America posted a screenshot of the texts, saying, "No parent should ever receive a text like this; no child should feel the terror of an active shoot in their school."
Several parents told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth they had received similar messages from their children who were at Timberview at the time of the shooting.
"She texted me when I was at work and she said, 'Mom, this is not a drill and I love you,'" Kimberly Middleton told the CBS station. "That was a little hard for me this morning."
Another parent told the affiliate that the situation could have ended "so much differently than what it did."
"When you wake up in the morning, you think it's going to be one way and it ends up being a completely different way," Stephanie Wade said. "You never know when it's going to be your last day. So I am very thankful to have my daughter with me."
Wednesday's incident marks the latest in a string of U.S. school shootings in 2021. According to EducationWeek, there have been 22 school shootings resulting in injuries or deaths since January 1. Those incidents have resulted in the deaths of six people, including four students, and 31 injured.
More than half of the shootings have taken place since the fall term began.