As victims’ families and the entire community search for answers after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the tragedy is triggering many emotions for survivors of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in 2019.
Cheryl Low was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival nearly three years ago, when a gunman opened fire, killing three people and wounding 17 others.
“I could hear gunfire, yelling, screaming. It was horrific. It’s Something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy,” she said.
Low escaped the gunman, but said that even now she is still traumatized from the events. She added that watching the recent news coverage of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting has triggered more anxiety.
“It makes me sick to my stomach that I get nervous, and I wonder will there be someone coming around here, “Low said.
Low told NBC Bay Area that she is planning to attend a gathering Sunday in Gilroy for other survivors.
“We are very affected by that mentally, it has bothered a lot of people and many of them have no way to connect,” she said.
Psychosocial educational facilitator Chilone Payton said that talking about a shared traumatic experience can help with healing. She also offered some advice.
“Find a therapist that has a trauma informed practice, teach them to recognize when they are in the throes of anxiety,” Payton said.
As the community of Uvalde, Texas begins the healing process, Low said she knows from experience that the road is long. She hopes the comfort of community will make a difference.