There have been a total of 65 shootings on school campuses in the United States this year; there have been several hundred more over the last few decades. New York profiled 27 victims of school shootings in their newest issue, speaking to a number of teenagers injured in this year’s shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in addition to victims of shootings stemming all the way back to 1946.
Some of the shootings—like the April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School—have been forever cemented in our collective consciousness. Others are smaller scale and perhaps lesser known, though the stories are still devastating, and left victims with lasting wounds and scars.
Anthony Borges, 15, saved up to 20 of his classmates by barricading a door at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His body is riddled with bullet wounds:
The physical therapy is helping a lot. A lot of the exercises are like the things you do before a soccer game. Still, I can’t feel my left foot. I’ve gotten skinnier, and when I stand up, I have trouble breathing. The goal is just to be able to move my entire body normally. I can’t run, and I want to run. I’m doing homeschooling now. I’m not sure when I’ll go back to school. I don’t want to; I don’t feel safe. I don’t talk about it with anybody — I get really upset. I can’t talk about it with my friends. I did what I had to do — that’s why I don’t like being called a hero. I want people to remember what happened as a miracle, from God.
Colin Goddard was injured in the April 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech University:
There were 17 people in that room with me. I’m one of seven alive today.
Eventually, I was able to play sports again and return to my same physical state, which helped my mental state. However, ten years later, I’m dealing with lead poisoning. My mom forwarded me an article about lead levels in gunshot victims, saying, “You ever get tested?” I was never told to.
Sure enough, I had significantly elevated levels of lead in my blood. Thousands of people get shot in this country every year. It’s blown me away that there really is no consensus about how to treat this.
Andre Wilkins was shot by a classmate at the Martin Luther King Jr. High School in New York in 2002:
I’d had an incident with the guy like two weeks prior. I thought it had been squashed. The guy came up. You got any problems? The whole aggression thing. I’d never had a gun pulled on me. He shot my friend first. When your adrenaline is rushing, you don’t really notice that you’ve gotten hit. Then I started to panic. I’m 16. Your mind starts to race. I never got a mustache. I never got a beard. I never went to the club.
Jennifer Alldredge Ryker was shot by an expelled student at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon in May 1998:
I tried to scream, but blood came out. My hand was spurting blood too. It looked like the scene from The Crow. Then I pretty much passed out. I woke up a couple of times. My friend Shelly had my head in her lap, and she was crying and saying, “Don’t fall asleep. Don’t die on me. Don’t give up.” I remember thinking, Oh, you’re so dramatic, Shelly. I’m fine. I just want to go to sleep. I’m cold. Later on, I woke again, and I had a Life Saver in my mouth. I spit it out because I was worried I would choke on it. A paramedic saw me spit out the Life Saver and realized I was still alive.
You can read the whole piece here.