Fitchburg resident who graduated from Florida high school reacts - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fitchburg resident who graduated from Florida high school reacts to shooting

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FITCHBURG (WKOW) --  Wednesday's mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead, is hitting hard for one Fitchburg resident who's from that community. 

Brian Lenhart graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2011 and still knows several families and friends in the surrounding community. 

It's why he was stunned when he turned on the TV to see his hometown in the spotlight and his old high school surrounded by SWAT officers looking for an active shooter. 

"I was starting to think, who do I know still there," Lenhart said. 

As he watched from his Fitchburg apartment, he went numb seeing the frightening moments play out. Students were running out of doors and hallways Lenhart once walked through. Police with their guns drawn were canvassing the area. Paramedics were seen helping the wounded as others carried victims off on stretchers. 

"Looking at the coverage and the campus and like memories flooding back. (I was) like wow, I remember sitting there talking to this person and this happened," he said as he remembered being a student on the campus. 

Lenhart said several of his former teachers were inside classrooms when bullets started ringing out. Thankfully, a couple of them checked themselves as safe on Facebook. 

"She was my language arts teacher," he said as he read from a former teacher's Facebook page. "She stated that I"m safe at this time - she's with her students."

But Lenhart is still worried for others like his math teacher who was a role model of his. He hasn't heard from the beloved teacher and doesn't know if he made it out safely. 

"It's definitely a possibility that one of the victims is somebody that I know," said Lenhart. 

He prays those he knows are safe, but still wonders why the gunman did what he did. 

"I don't know how someone could take lives like this," Lenhart said. 

As of Wednesday night, authorities in Florida did not have a motive for the shooting. 

"You see it happen at other schools and it's like things that happen in a movie or something of that sort, but you never think it's going to happen to so near and dear to you," Lenhart added. 

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