Students on the campus at Auburn University have been turning to student media to keep posted on the tragic story as it unfolded in their own backyards.
For those journalists, this has been a learning experience none of them could have ever imagined happening in their sleepy community.
"I have never dealt with anything like this before," said Nathan Simone, Online Editor of The Auburn Plainsman.
The Auburn Plainsman student newspaper staff has worked around the clock since the shooting took place. Some staff members were on the scene of the shooting in the moments following the 911 calls to police, because they lived across the street from the crime scene.
"We are trying to keep students informed, their parents and this Auburn Community," said Simone.
Before they knew the extent of the tragedy they were posting updates to their school Twitter and Facebook pages and gathering facts from the scene. Simone said he and his team had to work quickly.
"It's a weird feeling. It is very somber -- we did not have time to reflect on it because we had to get these stories out," said Simone.
They followed up with interviews and covered the manhunt for the suspected shooter Desmonte Leonard.
For Simone, the experience in his own backyard has shown him how important it is to get the facts right in an era where everyone has the ability to give their take on what is happening.
"There is a sense of immediacy, of knowing there is a murderer out there but once he is caught, there is also that relief right away, so there is kinda a double-edged sword," said Simone.