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updated: 2/14/2018 8:25 PM

Ex-Inverness teen could have been shot in Florida but stayed home sick

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  • Ryan Gott moved to Parkland, Florida, from Inverness in 2016. He could have been caught Wednesday in the shooting at his Florida high school, but he had stayed home sick.

    Ryan Gott moved to Parkland, Florida, from Inverness in 2016. He could have been caught Wednesday in the shooting at his Florida high school, but he had stayed home sick.
    Courtesy of Ryan Gott

 
 

It's rare for Ryan Gott to miss a day of school. But when the 15-year-old woke up feeling sick Wednesday, he decided to stay home.

If he hadn't, Ryan would have been on the same floor -- and possibly in the same classroom -- as the gunman who opened fire at Ryan's Florida high school, killing 17 people and injuring several more.

"It's crazy to be so close to one of these," said Ryan, who moved to Parkland, Florida, from Inverness in 2016. "It's not something you ever want to see. You just never think it'll ever be close to you."

Ryan, a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, first got word of the shooting through social media, "but it didn't seem real," he said. Then, he started getting texts asking if he was OK.

"The news kind of exploded after that," Ryan said. "My phone has been flooded all day."

Friends kept Ryan informed throughout the day, telling him of the chaos that ensued as gunshots were heard throughout campus. He saw videos and news reports of students hiding in classrooms and running out into the streets.

He heard from classmates that one of his teachers had been shot and that some of his friends were in the hospital.

"There's a lot of stuff swirling around, so I can't worry about it too much yet," Ryan said. "I just hope it's not true."

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