(CNN)Neither Kaitlin Holt nor the students in her choir class heard the gunshots.
Then about five students ran into her class, one of whom was a girl who had gunshot wounds.
“I honestly thought, ‘there’s no way she’s been shot.’ Because she ran in. I looked and she had been shot twice,” Holt said.
The girl was shot on her right side and left shoulder and didn’t even realize she had been shot a second time until Holt was treating her.
A 16-year-old student had walked on campus moments before with a .45-caliber pistol and began shooting. Two students, a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, were killed and three others were wounded. The shooter then shot himself and is in critical condition in the hospital. Investigators are digging into the suspect’s social media and background in search of a motive.
A ‘fight or flight’ response
Holt had done the active shooter drill once since starting teaching at Saugus since January.
In the chaos, Holt told CNN she didn’t think but just acted.
“It’s very fight or flight,” she said. “I had zero thoughts cross my mind.”
She gathered the students in her office, locked the doors and used rolling mirrors, chairs and a grand piano to block the doors to her classroom. She told the students in her office to dim their phone screens and keep them on silent.
“They kept quiet amongst each other,” she said. “They were all really supporting each other the best they could.”
Holt retrieved a gunshot wound kit that was already in the classroom, something she thought she would never have to use.
“We had watched a tutorial on how to use that in one of our staff meetings and I did that the best I could,” she said.
The student whose gunshot wounds she treated was “strong and really responsive,” but she hasn’t spoken with the student since the shooting. The student’s aunt, who also teaches at Saugus, sent Holt photos of her niece in the hospital smiling.
Holt doesn’t want to be viewed as the hero
Holt says anyone, even her students, would’ve done the same thing she did during the shooting. That’s not something worthy of being called a hero, she said.
“I feel like a hero makes a choice, and I was just acting,” she said.
She did say having to switch from being a teacher to a paramedic was rough, though.
“That should not be part of the teacher’s job,” she said. “I should not feel like I needed to be trained like a paramedic to save someone’s life and deal with the consequences of that.”
While both physical and psychological wounds from the shooting are still fresh, Holt said she’s ready to go back. Her classroom was a safe space for students, and she wants to be there for them.
“I’m ready to do whatever my students need me to do,” she said. “I want to help them rebuild.”