Columbine survivor Rep Kevin Parker responds to theater shooting

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by Othello Richards & KREM.com

NWCN.com

Posted on July 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 20 at 6:01 PM

A gunman in Colorado is blamed for shooting 71 people at the Dark Knight rising premier.

That makes the overnight massacre the worst in U.S. History, in terms of the number of people shot. Police say no other mass shooting suspect has hit this many victims. 12 of the victims died.

Washington State Representative Kevin Parker of Spokane was a 25-year-old youth mentor inside Columbine at the time of that tragedy.

He spoke to KREM 2 News and talked about what he believes the victims of Thursday's shooting are going through.

Parker says anytime a shooting like this happens, it brings him back Columbine. Particularly, what life was like after the shooting. “This is the second major shooting to strike that broader Denver community and a lot of victims are asking will life be normal again? Will I be able to have fun? Will I be able to laugh?”

Those were questions Parker asked of himself back in April 1999. Parker worked as a Young Life Leader.  He was in the cafeteria at Columbine when gunfire erupted.

Parker says the movie theater shooting brings back similar feelings. “Anytime I see this, there's a level of anger that comes up especially towards the shooters, just because they have taken and robbed so many people of their physical lives and also of their emotional lives too.”

Parker says he knows from personal experience the victims in Aurora are trying to make sense of the shooting, and the pain will take months to heal.

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