Columbine, VA Tech survivors bring message to Seattle

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by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 8:04 AM

SEATTLE -- A survivor of the Columbine school shooting teamed up with a survivor of the Virginia Tech school shooting for a special event in Seattle Tuesday night.  They were raising money for a documentary that raises awareness about the need for counseling for those who survive mass shootings, like the one in Colorado late last week.

Sam Granillo was a high school junior during the Columbine shooting in 1999 and spent three hours trapped in a kitchen office during the tragic event.  Three of his close friends were killed in the shooting.

"It's something I'm clearly going to be dealing with the rest of my life, and I can imagine everyone else is, too," he said.

Kristina Anderson, who now lives in Seattle, was shot three times during the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.

"All in all, I'm very lucky to be alive," she said.

The two survivors met for the first time just a few weeks ago as Granillo works on a documentary, called "Columbine: Wounded Minds," which explores the need for mental health help following such tragedies.

Anderson, who was interviewed for the documentary, held a fundraiser for Granillo Tuesday night, giving them both a chance to share their stories and give supporters a sneak peek of the documentary.

The event comes just days after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Col., which claimed 12 lives. Some of Granillo's friends, including one who died, were in the theater.  He has been using his experience to help them cope.

"For me to go through this again has been some of the most emotionally draining days I've had in a long time," Granillo said.

They are part of a community no one asked to join. But having each other makes it a little easier to deal with their emotions.

"It's amazing what we can do, how we can heal and how we can be there for one another," Granillo said. "It's incredible."

More information:

Granillo's documentary project: http://www.woundedmindsproject.com/

Anderson's Koshka Foundation, which works to improve camus safety: http://koshkafoundation.org/
 

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