Victims and families ready for Gem City Shine

Dayton Mass Shooting

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Many of the victims, their families, and survivors who fled the gunfire will be at the Gem City Shine event. For them it’s another step on a lengthy healing process, one they acknowledge will take a while. 

Sarah Reeves, a shooting survivor, says, “You can’t process what you saw, you can’t process what you did.” 

After taking cover during the gunfire, Sarah spent the next several moments trying to save lives, administering CPR to the shooter’s sister Megan Betts. She says, “I still have flashbacks, and probably will for a very long time. But I feel better mentally.” 

She’s still coping with the effects of PTSD, and loud noises still trigger her, even on vacation. “The noises of the loading trucks, the loud noises of the slams. If I see someone running, for instance, I’m automatically wondering what they’re running from. Your mind just naturally goes to the worst because you were involved in the worst.” 

Sarah says she’s feeling better though, thanks to talking things through with family and friends, and professional counseling facilitated by her employer. She’s excited to go to Sunday’s concert. 

Shooting victim Derrick Fudge’s sister Twyla Southall says seeing the community united will help her family. “With the sea of people and the celebration that will be going on I think it will make it a lot more bearable.” 

Twyla says she’s been grieving with others. “It’s amazing how much people that don’t even know you are crying with you, praying for you, and sharing their resources with you.” 

Sarah has seen the same thing as those around her help her recover. “I feel like if I keep going to the counseling and I keep talking about it it’s just going to keep getting better and better.” 

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