A Denver-based journalist for Fox News had an emotional reunion with her son while reporting live from his high school in the aftermath of a shooting there on Wednesday. Alicia Acuna, a senior correspondent, halted her coverage outside East High School mid-sentence when she saw her son.
“Excuse me—my son just came up and I have not seen him,” Acuna said. “I’m sorry. I’ve not seen my kid since this all went down… I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
She called him over and pulled him into a hug. “I’m just finishing this real quick, OK?” she told the boy. “OK. All right. OK. You good?”
As the high schooler left the frame, Acuna turned back to the camera. “I’m so sorry,” she repeated. “I just—There’s no way you would have let your kid walk by.”
Acuna’s son and niece were all on campus when the shooting occurred, and she had confirmed they were safe before rushing over to campus. She told anchors John Roberts and Sandra Smith that she had been working on another story on Wednesday when her son texted her that police officers had just interrupted an assembly.
The officers ordered the students to shelter in place, and “I kept in contact with him over text because he had to stay silent,” Acuna explained.
Denver authorities on Wednesday evening were still searching for a suspect in the shooting, which occurred around 10 a.m. that morning. The alleged gunman, identified as 17-year-old Austin Lyle, shot two school administrators while being patted down. The teenager then fled the scene, police said.
Acuna said during the broadcast that she, like many other parents, had been unaware of the “security search” protocol, which mandates that certain East High School students be searched upon entering the school every day.
“When I asked why parents weren’t being told this, I was told by the superintendent that it was to protect the privacy of the people who were being patted down,” she said. “As a parent, my question is, ‘What about the safety and the concerns we have for all of our students?’ There is a tremendous amount of frustration right now.”
One of the faculty members shot was in critical condition, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said in a press conference. The other victim was in stable condition.
The East High incident on Wednesday was the 18th such school shooting where at least one person was killed or injured, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.