GILROY, Calif. (KRON) – Multiple shootings in just a number of days can be difficult for many people to process, but it can be especially triggering for those had lived through the nightmare.
KRON4 spoke with Megan Bull. She was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in 2019.
Physically, she was fine, but mentally and emotionally she still carries the weight of that day. It’s heavier and harder after seeing more mass shootings, but she does say she has hope.
There were three mass shootings in three days. The first was at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park. The second was in Half Moon Bay, and the third was in Oakland. Bull says seeing all of this brings her back to her own mass shooting experience.
Bull was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival back in 2019 when a shooter opened fire, killing three people and injuring 17 others.
“All I can think about is my own experience and the direct knowledge of the pain these individuals are about to go through,” she said.
She says when it first happened, she couldn’t imagine another mass shooting ever happening.
“I really thought that would be the last one. That would be the breaking point that the world needs,” she said. “That week in 2019 there was a shooting in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso. This is really reminiscent of that.”
Three-and-a-half years later, it continues. She says these incidents make her PTSD worse.
“One of the big techniques for dealing with PTSD is telling yourself that the odds of it happening again are low, and when you see more shootings happening it’s hard to convince yourself that you are safe,” she said.
But she does have advice for anyone affected by these shootings.
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“Just don’t forget about this. In the days and the weeks and the years that pass, continue to share resources because this journey of trauma with these survivors isn’t going to end immediately. It’s going to go on for quite a long time,” she said. “Find your support network.”
And she says to lean on those people. After her experience, she created the Reclaim Foundation to connect survivors of traumatic events.
Bull also said it’s important that everyone works on preventing these types of crimes from happening in the future. She says she doesn’t have the answers for how to do that, but she hopes we can come together as a society to find a solution.