A Florida mother and son survived separate mass shootings — just 13 months apart.
Annika Dean, a Broward County teacher, escaped the shooting in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in January 2017, while her 14-year-old son, Austin, survived Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
“I can’t believe it,” she told Inside Edition. “I honestly … I can’t believe it.”
Last year, Dean was at the Fort Lauderdale airport when gunfire broke out in a baggage claim area.
“I laid down and I just instantly began praying,” Dean said.
Five people died in the attack, but Dean managed to escape without injury.
Then on Wednesday, the mother of two received urgent text messages from her son.
“It’s real,” one read. “We’re on lock down.”
Another read, “We’re safe, we’re good, we’re OK. But just in case, I love you.”
Thankfully Austin escaped from the school unscathed.
“I’m still in shock,” his mother said. “I may not look like I’m in shock, but I’m still in disbelief … I’m still recuperating from the airport [attack] to be honest. Now my entire community has experienced this.”
Her son lost friends in Wednesday’s attack.
“He’s emotional,” she said. “He lost a teacher. He lost two friends of his that he’s known since the second grade.”
Inside Edition’s Steven Fabian asked, “What are the chances that you would survive a mass shooting and then your son would survive one?”
“I hope very rare,” Dean said. “I’m really sad and heartbroken that this is becoming that common.”
Meanwhile, Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder for the Parkland school attack.