September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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My name is Austin M., and this is my survivor story. I was with my friend, and we went to visit my mother. When we arrived, this car pulled in right behind us. It was my brother’s “best friend” and a few others. I guess my friend and my brother’s friend had some issues, so I stepped in, trying to calm the situation. I even got it to the point where everything was good, so I shook his hand.

Everything seemed to be getting better until I heard a gun click back. My first instinct was to turn around; as I did, I was shot in the stomach, mid-turn. The bullet went in, and at first I didn’t even realize it. I didn’t feel any pain. Honestly, it just felt like I had no legs at first, but I was standing. The only option I had was to throw myself out the back door as he was still letting off rounds at me. I was left with a bullet lodged in my spine, which required immediate surgery! To this day I’m at risk of becoming fully paralyzed if that bullet shifts in the wrong direction!

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.