'It can't be real': Freeman student walked right by shooter

Freeman High School senior Kori Thurman said she walked right past the shooter before he opened fire at the school, Sept. 13, 2017. (Credit: KING)
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FREEMAN, Wash. -- "I walked right by it. I saw it myself."

Freeman High School senior Kori Thurman had just walked out of her classroom Wednesday morning when a fellow student opened fire in a hallway, killing one student and wounding three others.

At first, Kori didn't believe it was happening.

"I kind of laughed, honestly, like 'what is happening? It can't be real,'" said Kori, who was in disbelief even though she walked right past the shooter in the hallway and saw him holding a gun. She said the gunshots sounded like someone had taken a binder and slammed it on the ground.

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The shooting happened a day after the school held a practice lockdown and fire drill. Kori said some students thought they were having another drill before they realized this was for real.

"I heard three gunshots and I just started running," Kori said. "In my head, I was, "what's going on? What's happening? What am I seeing right now?'"

She said the shooter had at least two guns.

"I heard that the first one jammed up and that's when he pulled out the second one," Kori said.

The scene was chaos.

"I felt like I was in a stampede. Everyone was running, screaming," Kori said.

The elementary and middle schools are on the same campus as the high school. Within minutes, Kori said she and other high schoolers found themselves gathering in a preschool classroom.

Kori said she texted everyone she could. Students who had smartphones let others who didn't borrow theirs to reach out to families.

Kori's mother, Laurie, was at work but didn't have her smartphone on her. Her supervisor pulled her aside to let her know what was happening.

Laurie says her next step is to support her daughter -- in any way she needs.

"As a mom, I do what she needs me to do. I stay with her if she needs me to. I let her gather with friends as she needs me to," Laurie said.