Good morning Columbus. What you need to know today — Texts from two brothers in a school shooting, we’re interviewing Donnelly, our wrestling state champs, let the boys basketball tourney begin

 Greetings Columbus —

The voices of the teenagers who spent Valentine’s Day in the midst of bullets were strong this weekend. They are mobilizing and speaking out about their concerns, grief and fears.

One aspect of this massacre that we had not experienced in others is that we got an up-close look, almost in real time, at what was going on inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a 19-year-old started slaughtering students.

Students shot video, tweeted and texted.

The texts between brothers Matthew, 14, and Sam Zeif, 18, both in the school during the shooting, were especially vivid.

sam zeif

Here is their text exchanges:

Sam: Are you okay.

Matthew: Hopefully. Just know, I love you.

Sam: I love you too.

Matthew: Forever and your the best brother.

Sam: We’re gonna get out of here I promise.

Then Matthew broke this news to Sam:

Matthew: My teacher died.

When it was all over, Sam Zeif wrote this in a tweet: Scariest part of it all was knowing my little brother was right above me and not knowing if I would ever see him again. I’ve never really treated him the way he deserved. Not anymore. Seeing his face outside of school was the most relief I had ever felt. My prayers to all. For the latest, click here.

Here’s what else you need to know —

Where our reporters will be today.
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly is stopping by the office this morning. Earlier today, we attended the Third House session where state legislators listen to area residents about their concerns. And we are heading to Columbus East to watch teacher Greg Lewis transform into a U.S. president. Who will it be this year? Here’s a hint. He said this: My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

Blank slate: What’s your vision for downtown Columbus?
Tells us what the next big thing you want to see when it comes to downtown Columbus. Think big. Here’s the process community leaders have outlined for coming up with a plan.

Congratulations to our state champs.
Olympians Graham Rooks and Nick South brought home some big hardware on Saturday. Photos and stories from the state wrestling tourney here.

Let the hysteria begin.
Boys basketball pairings have been announced. Columbus North faces a tough Shelbyville team. All the details here.

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Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at