"She called me and told me that there had been a shooting. I could tell when she called that something was amiss and she said that she and her roommate were hiding out in the restroom," said Al Hall, whose daughter attends Virginia Tech.
His daughter Amber, a graduate of Leon High School and now a sophomore at Virginia Tech University, was among hundreds of students scrambling for cover as gunfire rang out across the university's campus.
"A co-worker came and said, ‘I just heard there was a shooting on Virginia Tech's campus and one person is dead,’ and I was just surprised. When I got home my husband tells me that the death toll is now up to 30, and I couldn't believe it," said Ann Nucatola, a Virginia Tech graduate.
As the drama unfolded, Hall says he remained on the line with his daughter, trying to stay calm as the minutes passed by.
"I wasn't that alarmed initially but the more I talked to her I realized that the problem was escalating because she told me there was one person dead. She thought several people shot, and I wanted to know.”
"Of all the places I've ever lived in my life Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, it was the place that by far I felt the most safe. I would have never ever guessed that anything like this would have happened there," said Nucatola.
Still, parents can't believe something this horrific could happen at what should be a safe environment for students.
"You never think as a parent when you send your child off to school that you’re gonna be faced with these types of tragedies," said Hall.
Hall says he doesn't know yet whether his daughter will finish out the school year, or come back home.
If something like this were to happen here police say students should get to a secure location where they can use their cell phones or find Internet access to get updated information on what's going on, and most importantly, they say to stay put until given instructions otherwise.