The shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, north of Fort Lauderdale is the seventh shooting this year that has injured or killed people at elementary, middle and high schools around the country.
That includes the shooting at Italy High School that wounded a 15-year-old girl just over three weeks ago. That was the second school shooting of the year, and every one since has felt like a personal blow to the community.
NBC 5 spoke to Jennifer Wallace as she was loading her young son into the car Wednesday night. He'll be heading off to school later this year, and Wallace can't shake her worries for his safety, especially since the trauma that often feels far away came home to her town.
Police say a 16-year-old student shot 15-year-old Noelle Cricket Jones six times in the Italy High School cafeteria. Despite wounds to her neck and abdomen, she is recovering well.
But the town is forever changed, and after the Florida shooting their hearts are with the next grieving families.
"Oh, it definitely changed. You know, it's a small town, and now you have to wonder, is that going to happen again?" Wallace said. "Is somebody going to be lurking and come shoot up the school just because they got expelled or suspended or kicked out? If it happened here in this small town, it can happen anywhere."
After the shooting at Italy High School, some parents raised concerns about the school district's preparedness for situations like this. The superintendent said they were reviewing procedure and doing everything they can to keep students safe.