Nashville Reporter Reveals She Survived School Shooting at 13 Years Old, Gives Advice to Parents
A reporter based in Nashville recounted the time she was involved in a school shooting when she was 13.
On March 27, Joylyn Bukovac, a reporter affiliated with NBC affiliate WSMV, spoke about her experience in 2010 when she was a child attending Discovery Middle School in Alabama.
“A lot of parents are running up to me saying that they’re nervous for the future for their kids and, to be honest, I’m right there with them because I’ve seen exactly what gun violence can do firsthand,” she said.
Bukovac said she was in the hallway when a gunman at her school “opened fire.” Another student was shot and killed right in front of her.
“And just the shock that moves through your body, I can’t even describe it. You just go into true fight or flight,” she explained. “I hid underneath the risers of my choir class. My phone was taken away, it was turned off.”
She added, “I was trying to call my mom to tell her what was going on and she found out through the news.”
Continuing, Bukovac said that at the time, her “family from all over the country” were trying to reach her, and “they couldn’t.”
“It was just madness that was going on. So I knew exactly when I arrived on scene, I saw people running, people on their phones, I knew exactly what they were going through because my family was on the other end of it, trying to get in contact with me whenever I was hiding,” she said.
She also revealed what she wanted her family to know as she was hiding.
“I desperately wanted my phone and wanted to tell them that I loved them and that I didn’t know what was going to happen,” she shared.
Bukovac further explained that the hardest thing about being involved in a school shooting was the unknown.
“I lost track of the gunman. I didn’t know where he was. I was just hoping and praying under those risers that a police officer was soon gonna slide his badge under the door, which eventually did happen, but it felt like lifetimes had gone by waiting to do so,” she recalled.
She gave some words of advice to the parents of the students who were involved in the Nashville school shooting.
“Open up that line of communication. Offer to talk to them about that if they’re ready, and if not just let them know that you’re there to support them and to be there with them.”
Bukovac then offered her “thoughts and prayers” to the families and students.
On Monday morning, the shooter, who has been identified as Audrey Hale, 28, entered The Covenant School, where Hale once attended, and opened fire, according to Don Aaron, the Nashville Police Department spokesman, per People.
After killing three students and three adults at the school, Hale died after she was shot by police.
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