Melissa Joan Hart recalled the horrific scene she witnessed in the aftermath of the most recent mass shooting, this time in Nashville, Tennessee, where three children and three adults died when a shooter opened fire at the Covenant Presbyterian School.
The “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” star took to her “What Women Bridge” podcast on Wednesday and explained exactly what she witnessed on Monday at the school “right next” to the one where her three children — ages 10, 15, and 17 — attend. Hart, who previously said this was her second experience with a school mass shooting after moving from Connecticut (where 20 children were killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown), said she and her co-host, Amanda Lee, were on their way to their kids’ schools for a parent conference when they saw the unthinkable unfolding, which included a teacher guiding children across a highway and away from danger.
“I was driving to our conference — my husband and I — and saw a helicopter,” she said. “We’re like, ‘That’s really weird.’ Then we tried to get across the street and one cop car was just there directing traffic to turn. We turned and the car in front of us stopped and, all of a sudden, I saw a teacher, and this is the part I’ll never forget, coming out with no abandon, walking into the street, stopping traffic and all of a sudden all these tiny children going by. The look on her face just changed my life.”
Hart recalled thinking that something was terribly wrong, and that point was accentuated when she remembered the helicopter and the cop. She said she got out of the car and started helping children cross the road. She said one child asked her what was happening, but Hart was doing her best to help in such a dire situation, where she said there was no police presence, at the time, save for a cop directing traffic.
The actress, who was with her husband at the time, said she ultimately realized what she was witnessing wasn’t a fire drill of any kind.
“They are running across the road. Something is going on really bad,” she said. “Something is worse behind them than them crossing the street and putting children on the side of basically a highway.”
Hart eventually realized the teachers and children were basically running for their lives. Amid the chaos, Hart said she prayed with one particular parent who was distraught over her child possibly still inside the school. Hart said the parent eventually reunited with her child at a nearby fire station.
Eventually, a massive police presence descended upon the area, to the tune of about 200 police cars, Hart said.
“I mean, the sirens [were] just insane,” she said. “It was the saddest thing I’ve ever witnessed.”
Hart, a Nashville resident, took to Instagram on Tuesday and shared her initial experience of yet another mass shooting.
“Hey, guys, for those of you that know, I live in Nashville and what’s been going on here today,” she began the video, referencing the shooting.
“My kids go to school right next to the school where there was a shooting today. We moved here from Connecticut, where we were in a school a little ways down from Sandy Hook, so this is our second experience with a school shooting with our kids being in close proximity. Luckily, we are all OK,” she said.
Hart became emotional as she went into detail about how she and her husband came in contact with the students, and how they helped them to the evacuation location.
“My husband and I were on our way to school for conferences, and luckily our kids weren’t in today, and we helped a class of kindergarteners across a busy highway, that were climbing out of the woods, they were trying to escape the shooter situation at their school,” she said while becoming visibly upset. “So we helped all these tiny, little kids cross the road and get their teachers over there. We helped a mom reunite with her children.”
She added, “I don’t know what to say anymore. It is just, enough is enough. And just pray. Pray for the families.”
MORE FROM ET: