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Suzanne Zaremba

New Years Eve, 2016: the night an armed intruder entered our home. He was hiding in a room, and when my daughter, Charlotte, entered, he attacked. I heard the sounds of struggle and ran in to find my 100-pound daughter struggling against a huge masked man. I wrapped my arms around her, trying to pull her to safety. His hand came up and he shoved a gun into my chest. We struggled for control of the gun. It went off. I don’t remember hearing shots, but a bullet burned through my leg, and I saw Charlotte gasping on the floor.

My husband ran into the room and we frantically did CPR, with the gunman, on his knees, staring at us, the gun hanging slack in his hand. Jim was on the phone with 911, when the gunman suddenly pushed himself backwards, hit the wall, lifted the gun and took his own life. Charlotte was air-lifted to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. I was taken to a different hospital, where I watched the staff work on the gunman, trying to save him.

To this day, it is surreal, but it is the nightmare I have lived for 7 years.

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