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Francisca Mendoza

I survived the Red Lake High School shooting on March 21, 2005. I walked my best friend to class, not knowing that would be the last time I saw her. I was 15 years old, sitting in my classroom and waiting for the bell to ring. It was almost time to go home.

I started hearing gunshots. I heard glass breaking and more shots. The classroom next to mine ended up in our room. They came from the back office that connected to our classroom. There were 15 or more of us waiting for the shooter. I opened the second door in my classroom, walked into the hallway, opened the exit door and yelled “RUN!!” Everyone started running outside. I saw the shooter shoot out the glass window and started aiming at us outside.

I can hear bullets. I can hear everyone screaming.

I lost five close friends that day, including my best friend. I use my pain to help others. I went to therapy. It helped me on my healing journey. I will never forget that day. It will be 19 years on March 21, 2024. My life has changed forever.

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