'We are on a code red .. its real. I love you': Dad rushes to Dreyfoos after daughter's text

·2 min read

WEST PALM BEACH — Bob Sullivan's 16-year-old daughter attends Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

Sullivan was shopping at Aldi Friday when he received a string of text messages from his daughter.

"Hi dad we are on a code red right now. Its real. I love you,” she wrote.

What happened: Students, staff safe after shooting by West Palm Beach police at Dreyfoos School of the Arts

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Friday afternoon, a van crashed through a metal fence and onto the Dreyfoos campus in West Palm Beach with city police in pursuit, sending the school into lockdown. A West Palm Beach police officials say the city police shot the man who had gotten out of the van and was acting erratically.

Upon reading his daughter's texts about the incident, Sullivan immediately dropped his groceries and rushed to the school, imagining the “worst-case scenario,” he recounted, fighting back tears.

Meanwhile, his daughter, an 11th-grade visual arts student, took refuge behind a locked door in a women’s locker room as the incident unfolded.

Sullivan arrived to a sea of flashing red and blue lights. Standing behind yellow police tape near Fern Street and South Sapodilla Avenue, he read new text messages from his daughter, whom he asked not to be named.

She heard banging on the door, as someone announced, “Police,” but she was hesitant to leave. Coordinating her rescue from the outside of campus, Sullivan spoke with a police officer, who assured the worried father that it was now “100% safe" for his daughter to come out of hiding.

Memories of Parkland shooting in 2018

All he could do was wait. Sullivan stared at the campus, eagerly awaiting news on his daughter.

Sullivan said his family lived in Parkland in 2018. They felt an immediate wave of grief that followed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and on Friday afternoon, those memories came rushing back.

“She is safe but traumatized,” Sullivan said of his daughter.

Giuseppe Sabella is a veteran schools reporter at The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at gsabella@pbpost.com. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Shooting in West Palm Beach near Dreyfoos School: Dad goes to daughter

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