Six months ago, the Hurley family packed their bags and moved from Clontarf in Dublin to Parkland, Florida.

Olga Hurley, originally from Russia, lived in Ireland for 18 years but relocated with her husband and two children to Florida to be closer to her parents.

They bought a house just around the corner from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 16-year-old Adelina Hurley was a student.

Seventeen people were killed on Wednesday when suspect Nikolas Cruz walked into the school and opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle. 

The family of four were adjusting to their new life in Parkland and Wednesday was a normal day for Olga. After visiting her parents, she went to the school to pick up Adelina.

She said she saw a lot of commotion and "all of a sudden, they [the police] appeared from all directions. They were driving from opposite directions".

Olga said she began to worry after she called and texted Adelina but there was no response.

The school's 3,000 students were almost at the end of their day when a fire alarm went off just before 2.30pm.

Adelina said some time after the alarm went off, her teacher started to look worried.

Soon after, they could hear helicopter noise coming from the sky.

It was only when the class checked online, they discovered there was a shooter on campus.

Adelina said the teacher guided the students out of the school and took a secret route to a local shopping centre.

She recounted: "It was really scary because you were running and everyone was running, screaming and some people were crying. People were like climbing the fence just to get out as fast as they could."

"Mom, I'm running, there is some shooting" - they were the words Olga heard when Adelina called her mother back.

Olga said: "Once I heard her voice, I knew she would be okay. The panic … I didn't know what to think. I just kept telling her 'Keep running, keeping running... don't [be] alone'."

Adelina said being on the phone to her mum made her feel better.

Forty minutes later, Olga was reunited with her daughter at the shopping centre, saying the ordeal felt like four hours.

She said: "I was so relieved to see my beautiful child in front of me. It's a gift. Honestly, it's a blessing."

The family said that they got confirmation overnight that one of Adelina’s classmates was killed in the attack.

Adelina said going back to school "will bring back emotions from it … but I think everyone will overcome it. It will be okay".

Thinking back to what happened, Olga said: "That feeling of horror only sinks in your head later on … after everything was already finished."