A Maine man was inside the Florida high school during one of the country’s deadliest school shootings.

Evan Beals of Wells told News Center Maine that he was in a gymnasium building when a gunman entered another part of the school and killed 17 students and teachers. Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was arrested following the Valentine’s Day attack.

Beals was in Florida recruiting students for the University of New Hampshire.

Beals told the Portland news station that he did not know what was happening when the gym was first put on lockdown, but relied on the lockdown training he received in high school once he realized what was happening.

“It’s always, that’s not going to be able to happen to me, it’s too far removed from anyone, any individual situation. But reality set in yesterday afternoon,” he said.

Beals said he never felt in danger and was able to leave the campus without seeing the shooting scene.

“But there are students who have to return to school next week or the week after, walking through those hallways. I think the perspective piece is really big,” he told News Center Maine.


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