When children bear witness to tragedy

Updated 9:39 AM ET, Wed May 8, 2019

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(CNN)The children stood in orderly lines beside yellow school buses. On any other day, they may have been going on a field trip.

On this day, the buses instead took them less than a mile away to a recreation center to be reunited with frightened relatives, who had just learned that their school was now on a dreadful and ever-growing list.
Officers and teachers evacuating students after a shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.
STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado, a K-12 campus about seven miles from Columbine High School, became the latest site of a school shooting on Tuesday, when two suspects opened fire in classrooms killing one student and injuring eight others. Two suspects are in custody, police said.
Photographs of the children taken after the attack show childhood invaded by tragedy.
Many of those on campus during the shooting were at an age where they might still reach for a parent's hand to cross the street.
A child is held while waiting to get on their evacuation buses after a shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch on May 7.
One student told CNN affiliate KCNC that he thought it was a drill -- a lockdown was announced over the intercom system -- but then he saw a law enforcement officer with a rifle.