Teacher Thought Shooting Was Surprise Drill
The next witness to take the stand Wednesday is Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher Juletta Matlock.
She was teaching the personalization class, similar to a study hall, in room 1215 on the day of the shooting.
Matlock said the group of students in that class were like a family. She said they were all very friendly with each other and were a “good group of kids.”
Among those students were Anna Martines, who testified Tuesday. Gina Montalto, Luke Hoyer and Martin Duque Anguiano were also part of that class. Those three students were in the hallway when the shooting began and were killed by gunfire.
When the shooting began, Matlock said she thought it was a drill.
She said she does not remember everything after the “three loud bangs” went off, but her students later told her that she told everyone to “get down.”
Matlock remembers telling her students to stay calm and that it was just a drill, so everything would be fine.
Students were hiding under her desk and in the corners of the room.
The MSD staff was told in January, a month earlier, that the school would hold a random active shooter drill sometime in the near future. Matlock thought the school was trying to catch everyone off guard on Valentine’s Day.
But after the glass in the classroom door shattered at her feet and the smell of sulfur filled the room, Matlock began to question if this was still just a drill.
She said she saw debris around the students’ desk and in her mind she kept saying “is this a drill? is this not a drill?”
Then she heard gunfire and screaming coming from the hallway and the classroom next door.
After recounting the events of the shooting, Matlock began to cry when she was asked to identify Montalto, Hoyer and Duque Anguiano in photos.