Father terrified when daughter's phone dies amid school shooting

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It would be any parent's worst nightmare to learn that there's been a shooting at their child's school.

On Wednesday, that nightmare came true for Joel Leffler when he took a call from his son shortly before school was set to let out.

Someone had opened fire, Leffler's son told him. He said he was running from the school and had to jump a fence to escape.

Leffler's daughter, a freshmen, was still inside.

"When I found out that the shooting was in the freshmen hall, which is where she is, I was actually able to get ahold of her," he told News4Jax.

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Leffler said his daughter was hiding, so she spoke in a whisper. Then the phone went dead.

"It was...the most terrifying 30 minutes of my life," Leffler recalled.

Fortunately, the father was able to contact local police, who told him his daughter had made it out.

Others weren't so lucky.

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said there are "numerous fatalities," but did not elaborate.

A shooting suspect has since been taken into custody, identified by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel as Nicolas Cruz, a former student.

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