PRARIE VILLAGE, Kan. — A community in shock is coming together after a shooting Friday at Olathe East High School left three injured, including the suspect.
While teens across the Olathe School District are showing support, students at Shawnee Mission East High School are also standing as one.
“To come together as a community to show that it's not just them in the fight and that we are all with them,” said Finn Devine, Shawnee Mission East student.
Shawnee Mission East students piled into their student section Saturday decked out in orange, showing their statement of support for peers at Olathe East during a home basketball game.
“Just to make sure that they know that everyone else is like really noticing them. Letting them know that we all support them since it’s obviously a really hard time for all of them to go through something so serious,” said Graham Burton, Shawnee Mission East student.
Even without experiencing the incident themselves, the news of the shooting came as a surprise to teens throughout the area.
“I heard about it. I think I was in business class, and I saw it on Twitter because I was scrolling through Twitter, and I was super shocked at what happened, and I never thought something so close to my school would ever happen,” said Jack Winn, Shawnee Mission East student.
One student noted the exponential difference between participating in intruder drills versus living through such an event.
“We do drills and stuff all the time. I mean people take it seriously, but you could never imagine what it would actually be like,” said Morgan Woods, Shawnee Mission East student.
For other students, the news came as a scare because all they could think about were their friends who were inside the building.
Now side by side in the stands and in spirit, teens put their rivalries and pride aside.
“To show our support for [Olathe East] because we know that is a scary situation, and we want them to know that we have their back even though when we play basketball and stuff like that we are rivals, but right here we have their back,” said Greer Hembree, game attendee.