A 17-year-old girl is being praised for her “remarkable” actions after surveillance video showed her opening her mosque and ushering in students running from an alleged stabbing at their Wisconsin high school.
Duaa Ahmad, a senior at Oshkosh West High School, could be seen holding open the door to Oshkosh Ahmadiyya Muslims mosque and ushering in dozens before she herself went in.
“I just felt like I did what had to be done,” Ahmad told ABC News in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
Chaos ensued Tuesday morning after a 16-year-old student stabbed a school resource officer, who shot the student once at the high school, which was across from the mosque, according to Oshkosh Chief of Police Dean Smith.
Their injuries are expected to be non-life-threatening, authorities said.
While Ahmad said she felt “a little fear,” she was mainly focused on getting everyone inside.
She said that just minutes before, a teacher told students to run from the campus, but they didn’t know why.
“It could have been anything. That fact that we didn’t know caused even more anxiety,” Ahmad said.
Yet, thankfully, she and other students exited through a door close to the mosque and everyone beelined toward it.
“I’m lucky that I was in that place when that situation ensued, and I’m just grateful that I was able to enter the code and let as many people in,” Ahmad said.
While she didn’t consider her actions heroic, her father and uncle were stunned when they saw the video.
“When I look at the video now, I feel pride,” Saad Ahmad, her father, told ABC News.
“Her composure is remarkable in that situation,” he said. “I don’t know how I would react in that situation.”
He added that while she looked calm, “she was also scared.”
Duaa Ahmad’s uncle, Khurram Ahmad, called it an “uplifting” moment in a terrifying situation.
“At first you see it, and you don’t consider the subtlety in it that she remained outside,” her uncle said. “These are things that cannot be taught.”
He also serves as the public affairs secretary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to which the Oshkosh mosque belongs.
He said about 100 students from the school ran to the mosque and sought shelter there, thanks to his niece.
“At that moment, it was her alone. Her basic instinct kicked in,” Khurram Ahmad said.
Duaa Ahmad is now focused on returning to school Friday and moving forward as a community, but she hopes that people will remember how terrifying these situations are.
“You never what that situation’s gonna be like,” she said, “until you’ve actually experienced.”