Survivor of Trolley Square shooting reaches out to Parkland student

Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 19:54:23-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the midst of the deadly shooting in Parkland Florida, a Utah woman was reaching out in real-time to one of the victims. Thanks to social media, Britnee Webb was able to tell a scared student he wasn't alone.

"That picture just was like, whoa, like triggering. I know that feeling," Webb said.

The feeling of hiding in the middle of a mass shooting is something Webb experienced 11 years ago while celebrating her birthday at a restaurant in Trolley Square.

"Everyone in the restaurant was underneath the tables just hiding," Webb recalled.

When she saw a tweet from Aidan Minoff, a student in Parkland, saying "my school is being shot up and I'm locked inside," she felt compelled to reach out to him.

"Stay calm and it's going to be okay because I’ve been through it so you’re going to be okay," Webb said.

Webb sent a tweet to Aidan saying, "I've survived this. You're gonna be okay. Hang in there sweetie. Stay quiet. Help anyone who is hurt Stay calm. It's going to be okay."

"I wasn’t the only one. There were other people like, me too, and I’ve been through this too sadly. Why are there so many people saying I’ve survived this also," Webb said.

She waited anxiously, glued to her phone, and finally three hours later she breathed a sigh of relief when she another tweet from Aidan saying, "my brother and I are with our parents safely in the car."

Webb never heard back from Aidan.

"He had so many people tweeting him and retweeting him and sending him messages. He had to turn off his private messages so it's fine. I hope he saw it," Webb said.

However, she did reply saying, "give yourself time and permission to heal. This is a trauma. It will haunt you." That's something Webb learned firsthand during the shooting at Trolley Square that left five people dead.

"It hit me the next day like, oh my God, people were actually dying around me," Webb said.

In the past 11 years, a lot of things have changed. Shootings are more common, and social media makes communicating during them a lot easier.

"I’m glad they had that medium to be able to help each other through it," Webb said.

However, Webb, who's now a mom herself, is in awe of Aidan and all of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

"I’m so proud of those kids. They’re starting a movement," Webb said.

She hopes people will start listening to them and the growing list of people who've experienced the trauma of a mass shooting.

"Really until you’ve been through it, you don’t know how you’ll act, react or what you’ll do or how you’ll feel," Webb said.

Webb was initially hesitant to do the interview because she wants the focus to be on the students in Parkland. She said their message and their fight is what's most important to her.