What it’s like to witness a shooting


Connie Erdozain

The idea of a potential shooting is scary for most people, including teens that just want to have fun by attending a high school party.

Shea Edwards

What should I wear? How do I do my hair? What time should we get there? Excitement buzzed around campus during the week leading up to the party, and it was the only thing on my mind. Little did I know, I would witness a horrifying event that would end up all over the local news the next day. 

It was the second Saturday of the 2022-23 school year, and the night ended, quite literally, with a boom. What began as a harmless high school party to celebrate the birthday of a Midtown graduate going off to college, ended with two teenagers shot. 

It all escalated so quickly. After a fight between two high school students, chaos quickly unfolded, leading to a traumatizing shooting. 

The brawl in the street grew louder and louder each minute. It couldn’t be heard from the backyard as people’s voices hushed the argument. What was heard moments later was the bang of a gunshot. It reverberated throughout the entire party. A surge of anxiety and panic filled the air making it hard to think clearly. I hadn’t even registered the noise to be gunshots before I found myself wiping the tears that were streaming down my face. This sound would soon be unmistakable, something I will never forget. People thought they were fireworks, a can being crunched under a tire, or simply street noise. However, it was louder than all of these. The screams, the cries following the gunshots were louder than all of these.

It was so surreal. One moment, people were letting loose and socializing among their peers after a long week of school. The next, they were running in and out of the house, scared for their lives. People lost contact with their friends, parents were directing kids to stay inside the house, and other teenagers were scrambling to call their own parents to pick them up and take them home. Everything changed in a second in the midst of the humid night that had been an average party just moments before. You see it on the news, you see it in shows, movies, but you don’t think you’d see it firsthand.

 Walking out of the house when the street seemed “safe” was like being in a dream. Through tears, I saw the bright neon red and blue lights from the ambulance and the police cars. All I thought to do was make sure everyone was okay.  I opened my phone and saw streams of messages from people at the party. “Are you okay?” “How are you getting home?” Even the next morning it continued. “I heard about what happened, I’m so sorry you had to witness that.” 

The reality that more events like this could happen when guns seem to be so readily available for anyone is terrifying. In the U.S., this year alone, there have been 27 school shootings and over 300 mass shootings. There have been no more than 13 days without a shooting in the span of eight months. This particular shooting may not have directly involved a substantial number of people, but two is more than enough to shake the community awake.

Though it was shocking for everyone involved, for most people, this is just another story on the news. These incidents will keep happening if people continue to gain more and more access to guns. In April 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp signed SB 319, a bill that makes it legal for residents of Georgia to carry a concealed gun in public without a permit. The protection of people in the Georgia community is being threatened, and it seems that more gun-related incidents arise as evidence to back that up.

Parents shouldn’t have to worry about sending their kids to school. Kids shouldn’t have to worry when they go to a party that someone may show up with a gun. When will legislatures decide that too many of our people are getting hurt or even killed because guns can’t seem to be properly regulated? Guns are not protecting us. The blood on the pavement may wash away within a couple of days, but the memory will remain forever.