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Surviving 12 Gunshots at Sixteen

My name is Sonia Brito. March 13, 2020, was a normal day. I went to school, then spent the rest of the day with friends. I decided to have a sleepover with my cousin that night. She and I are very close. At the time, I was 16 and she was 17. She decided to invite over some friends.

In the early hours of March 14, I got into an argument with a young man over the music. The argument escalated quickly. He became very agitated, so we asked him to leave. As he left, he fired a couple of gunshots into the air. About an hour later, he busted into the house with four other young men. Almost immediately, two of the five men opened fire, killing a friend’s father and shooting my cousin and me. The youth who shot me and my cousin was only 15.

My cousin received 19 gunshot wounds; I received 12. One bullet hit me in my eye, while the rest damaged my limbs and ribs. I was in the hospital for two weeks, and I have had more than 20 surgeries since. I will receive treatment for my injuries for the rest of my life.

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