Only on 4: Pine Middle School shooting survivor lends advice to Sparks Middle School victims

Reported by: Samantha Boatman
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Updated: 10/24/2013 5:56 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & Mynews4.com)—When shots rang out inside Pine Middle School, than 8th grader Kenzie McKeon was injured by shrapnel. She’s sharing her inspirational story on how she overcame the tragedy. She’s hoping her story will help those affected by Monday’s tragedy at Sparks Middle School.

"All of a sudden, there was a shooter in there and I recognized him down the hall," says Kenzie McKeon.

She says she will never forget that day, March 14th, 2006. She says students were excited because school was delayed due to snow. Little did she know, she would get injured by gunfire after riding the bus to school with a fellow classmate who had a gun, and who would eventually open fire inside the school.

"Once I got into the ambulance I was taken out by the police. I kind of got that surreal feeling like woah. When it happened, it was adrenaline, then all of a sudden it's a big brick wall in your face like this is really a school shooting," says McKeon.

Kenzie made a quick physical recovery, but the emotional recovery took a little longer.
She says her teachers were surprised though that she was back at school the day Pine re-opened.

"I looked at going back to school as a way to reinforce my feelings about what education is supposed to be about, I just was like I'm not going to let this event change my outlook on something that's important to me,” says Mckeon.

Kenzie is now a senior at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
On Monday, when she found out about the Sparks Middle School shooting, she couldn't help but be reminded of what she went through.
She says she was able to overcome the tragedy by having people around her who listened.

"I was thinking thoughts, fear, and anxiety and all these things and being able to tell somebody that I was going through this inside my head, can be such a scary place, it was relieving to have support from both ends, my family, my teachers and the community. Everybody is affected by this not just the people who there, It's everybody, Mike Landsberry's family, everyone is affected by this, but you need to be around people who support you and understand what you're going through," says McKeon.

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