Zackary Walls and Colton Haab, two Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps members, saved countless lives with quick thinking and a little bit of kevlar during Wednesday’s horrific attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Walls and Haab described their heroic actions during a Thursday interview with ABC News.
Walls, a company commander, explained that while leading a group of roughly 60 students outside in response to a fire alarm pulled by suspected shooter Nikolaus Cruz, he realized the students’ “fire zone was exactly where the shooter was.”
“I heard the first two or three shots, I knew it was gunshots, and I look back at all the kids behind me. There’s 60 kids looking at me,” he continued. “‘What do I do? Where do I go?’ and I just yell, ‘get back in the classroom!'”
Walls and Haab, a JROTC captain, eventually took shelter in the same classroom, where they decided to build a shield out of the kevlar curtains used for JROTC training exercises to protect the students.
“I brought those curtains out because I knew exactly what they were made of,” Haab added. “I never thought that we’d need them… but after yesterday, I’m glad that we had them.”