March 20, 2018 / 6:42 PM / 10 months ago

Maryland lockdown pulls Florida students into Twitter storm - 'Be strong'

(Reuters) - Hunkered down in an “active shooter” lockdown at her Maryland high school, Mollie Davis exchanged tweets with Parkland, Florida, students on Tuesday, less than a week after all of them led walkouts to demand Congress enact gun safety laws.

Law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Two students were wounded, and the student shooter died after exchanging gunfire with a campus security officer at Great Mills High School in Maryland, the county sheriff said.

Davis’ first tweet about the shooting quickly prompted tweets of encouragement from Florida students who survived a Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff were shot dead.

“Hi Twitter. I am in Great Mills HS. My school is on a very real lockdown threat and there’s already someone possibly dead. Please pray for us,” she posted on Twitter around 8 a.m. (1200 GMT)

Almost immediately, Davis was embraced by Florida shooting survivor Delaney Tarr, a student who has since told lawmakers they will be voted out of office if they fail to pass gun safety measures.

“I am so, so, sorry. Be safe. Be strong. We love you,” @delaneytarr tweeted.

Moments later, Davis re-tweeted a video of Great Mills students joining last week’s national school walkout to urge stronger gun control laws following the Parkland killings, saying the Florida students’ activism inspired her to spearhead the action.

“Made this video 5 days ago. Now my school is the target. WHY DO WE LET THIS KEEP HAPPENING??? I’m so tired I’m so tired,” she tweeted.

Her original tweet on the day of the walkout last week said, “It crushes me that this hasn’t ended yet, but today left me feeling more empowered than anything.”

On Tuesday, as Great Mills remained in lockdown, Davis received more heartening tweets from other Florida high school leaders, including student survivor Emma Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s essays and speeches denouncing what she has characterized as congressional lack of action in the face of the politically powerful gun lobby have made her an internet sensation.

Gonzalez tweeted before 9 a.m. (1300 GMT), “We are Here for you, students of Great Mills (heart symbol) together we can stop this from ever happening again.”

As authorities secured the scene in Maryland, Davis tweeted back: “@Emma4Change I absolutely adore you Emma and seeing you like my tweet made me smile. Thank you for everything you do.”

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Jonathan Oatis

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