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Her Diary: “The Scariest Day of My Life”

Dear Diary, 

Today is November 12th, 2016. I went to work as normal, and today was a fairly busy day because it was the day after veterans day and we had a 3$ lotion sale going on. For those of you who don’t know, I work at Bath and Body Works. We were getting tons of customers, so many that we had to not only use all of our registers but use the express checkout handhelds. The handhelds allow you to check people out via debit or credit only. They needed all hands on deck so I grabbed an MPOS (the checkout handheld) and made my way to the front of the store where a small group of people were already gathering in a line. My coworkers were standing outside with bells trying to get people to come into our store for the amazing sale we had going that day. Business goes on as usual, I try to work through my line as quickly as possible which worked out well because 10 minutes in I only had one customer left to check out. As I am checking her out I hear a loud “pop” sound coming from outside the store. Everyone pauses for a split second then another loud “pop” goes off,  this time however the shot sounded closer than before. It sounded so close that I thought the gunman was walking into my store. Hand fulls of women, men, and even children went running to the back of the store. Screaming and crying, one man was running next to me yelling saying “Angela, Where are you”. I heard one more gunshot as continued to run out of the store, passing the break room I could see about 30-40 people huddled together in the break room crying in fear of their lives. I make it to the back door where my coworker was already standing ushering people outside to the parking lot behind our job. Some kids were separated from their parents during the incident so I gave them my phone to try and contact a parent of guardian. My coworkers made it outside, along with everyone that was in our store. Standing outside in 45-degree weather with no jacket and just a cell phone i call my mother to tell her what just happened. As i am on the phone with her police officers and swat team enter yelling and telling us to run and move. We went swarming to the opposite end of the lot still crying and in shock from today’s events. As they entered the building, we just stand in the cold alert as we feared another attack was coming soon. We learned that there were multiple shooters engaging in a planned active shooter attack on the mall. I called my family to share with them the news, and assure them that I am okay. As we waited in the mall parking lot the cold pierced throw my one layer of clothing. I ended up leaving my things at work and catching a ride home. While at home, The gunshots played over and over in the quietness of my room, the images of people running and children crying in fear makes it still all so surreal to me. In all honesty I am so grateful and so humbled to be a live right now. 

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Ashanti Dunn

Albany '18

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