PARKLAND, Fla. — The wounded student praised for giving police a spot-on description of the Parkland school gunman has returned to class almost two months after the massacre.

Kyle Laman, 15, nearly lost a limb – if not his life – on the day Nikolas Cruz prowled the halls of the school, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others. Despite being shot in the foot, Kyle said he never considered withdrawing from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

The high school freshman rejoined his classmates on campus this week. Even though he’s still recovering from his bullet wound, he’d prefer to skip the fuss around his return – or his part in helping police nab the gunman, according to his mother.

“I just wanted to see some of my friends,” said Kyle, who will be facing more surgeries before he can walk again. He spent 16 days in the hospital before going home.

On Monday, Kyle showed up to school accompanied by Coral Springs Police Sgt. Jeff Heinrich, the officer who found Kyle running on his injured foot in a field. Heinrich got him to paramedics after administering first aid.

Kyle gave Heinrich a description of the gunman that was “spot on,” including where the shooter had been and what he was wearing, police said.


On Tuesday, Kyle’s first full day back to school, Coral Springs Commissioner Larry Vignola pushed him in his wheelchair around campus.

Kyle said he felt no fear from being back in school. Vignola said it was moving to watch Kyle welcomed back.

“Honestly, there was a genuine, sincere love coming from these kids. You could see it was part of the healing process for them, too,” Vignola said.

“All the people came and gave him hugs. There were some tears.”

Kyle was in Room 1249, on the third floor of the 1200 building, before the shooting began. He had finished his work in a study hall and was watching friends play chess as the end of the school day neared.

Then the fire alarm went off. Everyone left the classroom. And because a door locked behind them as they left the room, they found themselves trapped in the hallway with bullets flying, Kyle said.


About 90 seconds after leaving study hall, Kyle said he came face to face with Cruz. It seemed completely unreal to Kyle that Cruz was a gunman, and not part of some sort of shooting drill, he said.

Cruz fired at him as Kyle dove to the ground, he said. Kyle still thought it was a simulation round, the kind used for non-lethal training, he said. “Then I was like, ‘Wow. That hurt,’” he recalled.

Still, he started running. And the situation became more terrifyingly real. A student’s body was in his path.

He also remembers seeing Coach Aaron Feis, one of the 17 killed. “I had to move Coach Feis’ body out of the way,” he said, because Feis was in a doorway.

He tried his best to run with his wounded foot. “It was hurting, but I had to run,” he said. “It was painful. It was burning.”

He ran to the senior parking lot and kept getting farther from the school.


Along the way, he found Heinrich, the Coral Springs police officer.

Heinrich was off duty, doing his regular, volunteer maintenance of the school’s baseball diamond, where his son played.

The sound of a second volley of what sounded like fireworks at first made Heinrich drop his work and run to the school.

“I saw other kids running, but Kyle was the first who was looking for an adult,” Heinrich recalled.

Heinrich bandaged him up. In retrospect, he still can’t believe that the boy was running on that foot.

“He severed one of the tendons that allows the foot to go up and down,” he said. “The doctors said they were amazed he was able to run also.”

Meanwhile, his friends were getting word that Kyle was among the wounded. Dylan Persaud, 14, also a freshman, thought it was a joke at first.

“One of my friends texted that Kyle had been shot but I thought he was just messing around,” he said.

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