HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Two Houston dads say they felt helpless with their kids on the Ohio State University campus and an attacker on the loose. The fathers began getting frantic text messages from their kids just before 9:00 a.m. Houston time.
“It was very scary,” explains Phil Barker Sr. whose son Phil Barker Jr. is a 4th year Biology student at OSU. P.J., as his loved ones call him, sent a group text to his dad, his mom and two younger siblings.
“He's so far away and there's nothing you can do but just wait and most definitely pray,” adds Mr. Barker.
Barker couldn't tolerate simply texting so he called his son, who is a graduate of Houston North Shore High School. "He was whispering and he said he was in the classroom, locked in the classroom".
”Then people started going in and out of the door and I felt like it kind of breached the security of the room,” explains P.J. via Skype. So he and several students left the anatomy lab where they had been in hiding and went to their dorm rooms. “We decided to go back to our own rooms and lock the door where we could control when the door was opened".
Jack Gogan's daughter was locked in her chemistry lab for hours because the chaos was unfolding feet from where she was. Gogan says he was overcome with fear and anger. “I wish I could have been there to hold her, make her feel safe,” explains Gogan.
After texting for some time Gogan's daughter sent a picture of the suspect lying dead surrounded by cops. ”I hate to see anyone lose their life but to see the perpetrator taken care of by the police was a comforting feeling,” adds Gogan.
P.J., an OSU Pre-Med student, says this has taught him not to take anyone for granted. "Because you don't want the last time you talk to someone to be on bad terms and also have those conversations with your friends, especially with finals coming up. Make sure people are in an okay mental state and if there are problems report it”.
As for Gogan and his daughter? “I got to get her a gun. You got to be safe nowadays. I feel like that's the only way".