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

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Terry Mitchell, Ted Fields, Dave Martin

On August 20, 1980, my friends Ted Fields and Dave Martin and I were shot in the crosswalk by a racist serial killer named Joseph Paul Franklin. Franklin was the original “Lone Wolf” who was trying to start a race war and murdered 22 people in 12 states. He targeted people he considered to be race mixing. I was 15 years old, Dave 18, and Ted 20. We grew up in the same neighborhood. By the time the attack ended, Ted and Dave were dead, and I was covered in the shrapnel from the bullets that exited their bodies. Even though I was a victim, the Salt Lake Tribune blamed me for surviving and posted my name and address in the paper for five straight days. I was targeted again, and the police refused to help me as I called because people were driving by our house with gun, saying “you should have thought about that when you hung out with those niggers.” I wasn’t allowed to go to my friends’ funerals. I was ostracized and had to go into hiding for my own safety. My life was changed forever by this senseless violence. I wish my friends were still alive.

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