mass shooting

‘We turned off the lights in the classroom, closed the blinds, and laid quietly in the corner. I was so scared.’: 9-year-old recounts ‘chaotic scene’ hiding in classroom after Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita

“‘This is not a drill!,’ their teachers yelled. My daughter answered the phone. Her voice shook as she described a chaotic scene. ‘We were outside lining up. I saw my teacher running toward us in high heels. Then she yelled at us to run to our classrooms.’ She is just 9 years old. She and her friend grabbed hands, darted into the nearest classroom, and peaked through a crack in the blinds.”

‘We never should have walked away from that night, but we did. I called my mom in tears. She booked me the next flight home.’: Capitol Hill massacre survivor recalls narrowly missing notorious mass shooting, ‘We woke up to see our friends faces on the news’

“Kyle Aaron Huff was at the rave. This was the same after party that Luke and I would have been at. All I wanted was to stay with Luke, but I knew I needed my mom more. He took me to the airport, we said our goodbyes, and I left. I looked back and saw him looking back at me, and I almost stopped. But I knew I had to keep going. In a span of 2 years, I lost the man I thought I’d marry, and the man who was perfect for me.”

‘We need to get out now!’ A woman was beating on the chest of a body. ‘It’s too late, he’s gone.’: Security officer describes scene of Las Vegas mass shooting ‘utterly shocking, surreal’

“BANG! ‘This is actually happening!’ I realized at that moment, this is a real. He started to target where we were hiding. People were screaming. One woman in a cocktail dress asked, ‘Where can I use the restroom?’ as bullets flew over our head. Suddenly, it all got quiet. Deafening silence. I couldn’t call my fiancé to tell her I loved her one last time.”

‘He looked me straight in the eyes and muttered a single word: RUN.’: Crowd of thousands mistake popped water bottle for gunshot, woman claims mass shootings have us all ‘living in fear’

“I walked around the venue, trying to find a spot in the crowd. Then, we heard it. ‘GUN!’ Screams erupted. My friend and I shared a mutual look of terror before breaking into a sprint. Adrenaline carried us. Police officers ran towards us, guns pulled. ‘Keep your heads down!’ In the end? It was a popped water bottle. But I will remember it as if it were real because, in that moment, it was.”

‘What would we do if someone started shooting?,’ I wondered in church. I could feel my heart racing.’: Mom says her fear can be ‘crippling’ following mass shootings, but knows there will ‘always be light’

“Where were the exits? How would I protect my kids? I hate that my mind was in a place of fear in church of all places. I often run to the grocery store or Target with all 3 of my kids. How will I protect them if someone started shooting? How can I keep them safe? How can I teach them to protect themselves? Fear can be crippling. But there will also always be light.”

‘In 1997, at the lowest point in my life, I snapped and bought a gun. I was almost a school shooter.’: Man overcomes abusive childhood, bullying, says ‘kindness’ stopped him from doing ‘the worst thing imaginable’

“When you’ve been told you’re ‘worthless’ enough times, you’ll believe it. I had no home and often slept outdoors. The isolation and bullying became unbearable. I wanted to feel an emotion other than pain. I wanted to feel, for once, like I was in control. If I’d possessed a rifle, I would have been a killer. If I’d known love, I would have never wanted a rifle.”

‘Katie, Katie!’ Bullets pinged. I had a death grip on my friend’s hand. No way in hell I was letting go.’: Route 91, Las Vegas Mass Shooting survivor shows ‘random acts of kindness,’ ‘we will NOT let him win’

“We always want to know where the nearest exit is. Our minds are forever thinking of an escape plan. The triggers can hit when we least expect it. But I won’t let HIM win. It took us a while before we picked ourselves up and got back to doing what we love to do: go to concerts. WE win. Love wins. Kindeness wins.”

‘Am I ever going to walk again? Will I survive this?’ I couldn’t see it coming or avoid it. I never saw the man who did it. I just felt the shattering vibration in my leg and collapsed.’

“There was no fight, no scuffle. Just bone-crushing shock. For years, I imagined him as every man I saw – walking down the street, opening my office door, pushing through a crowd. Every victim I heard about on the news was me – helpless and broken – life as they knew it taken from them in one moment.”

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