My life changed forever on May 23, 2014. That was the day a man decided to go on a murderous rampage through my college community. He took six lives and injured a dozen others.
I was working at a local shop in Isla Vista, California. I was coming in to my shift early when I heard the gunfire starting. It was loud and constant. People were running in all directions. I ran into my work, where one of the victims was lying in the doorway, murdered by a gunshot wound to the chest. It was terrifying. We didn’t know who was shooting or why, or if we were safe. It felt like it took a lifetime for the emergency responders, but it was too late.
The rampage lasted only a few minutes, but it has impacted me every day since. I am a survivor. I struggle from PTSD. I live in fear that my and my loved ones’ lives will be taken by gun violence because a man with a history of mental illness can legally buy guns and over 200 rounds of ammunition.
In memory of Chris, Katie, Veronika, David, George and James.