On the night Clai was shot by her stepfather, her mother said, “I really think he’s going to do it tonight,” and then hid in the closet. Clai was 13 at the time.
Marilyn & Victoria
Marilyn's son Ryan was shot at point blank range by the brother of his girlfriend. His body was stuffed into a mattress in the garage - yards away from where she, his son Jeffry, his sister Victoria, and the rest of the family were enjoying Thanksgiving dinner.
Atiff and his nephew Troy were shot during a robbery. Troy was hit once and killed while Atiff was struck 15 times.
He has since died from his injuries.
Joe & Gregory
On New Years Eve, about 15 years ago, "celebratory gunfire" left a bullet in Joe's head. He's had over 60 surgeries since and is confined to a wheelchair... with migraines and double vision.
Mary shows the spot where she shielded and saved the life of her daughter when a madman opened fire at a campaign event in Tucson, AZ. She was shot three times in the process and says that childhood ended for both her children that day.
"And he just kept telling me to shut up, to shut the fuck up."
Oxsana & Peter
"I was outside crying one night and Peter noticed. He left for a few minutes and came back with leftover birthday candles. He put them in a little tealight cup with dirt, lit them up and came up and gave me a big hug, sat down next to me and started telling me, “Mom, please don’t cry. He is okay. Nicholas is okay. He’s an angel now. He can fly. He is, he’s okay, you know.”
After having been shot multiple times over the years, Khayree doesn't like to go outside much anymore.
"I felt a gun on my forehead, in between my eyes and it was heavy and it was cold."
The shooter who burst into Judi's daughter Darien's bedroom and started firing is still at large. The Portland, ME Police Department consider her murder a cold case.
Caren & Tom
Alex, Tom and Caren's son, was killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. Not wishing to give the killer the notoriety he seeks, they simply refers to him as "it".
In suburban Las Vegas, Darchel often goes into her daughter Brooklynn's room when she wants to feel connected. Brooklynn, who was taught gun safety from a young age, was killed by an unsecured gun at the home of a friend.
While Dre hasn't yet regained his ability to talk, walk, or feed himself more than 6 or 7 forkfuls, he's doing a lot better since - as his mother says - "they put his skull back on".
If two police officer had not scooped Ian up and rushed him to the ER, he would’ve died moments later in the street after being shot. As an act of remembrance and gratitude, he has the names of the officers tattooed across his chest, near his scar and right above his heart.
Sami reflects on the loss of his father, killed in a workplace shooting.
Anthony looks out onto the Cranston, RI driveway where his adult son Jim was shot and killed by his neighbor during his own son's birthday party... and in front of all the children.
When asked where he wanted to be photographed, Khary chose the shore of Lake Michigan - as he feels it represents the vastness of the loss of his mother, who committed suicide when he was just a baby.
Lucy's son, Jordan, was killed in Jacksonville, Florida when a man felt threatened by his loud music.
Diane's daughter wrestled with mental illness for much of her life - until she ultimately killed herself on the anniversary of when her father killed himself.
"The medicine she took to save her life was far more regulated than the gun she used to end it."
Diane's granddaughter Lisa (name changed) still reels from the suicide of her mother. She no longer engages in self-mutilation but wrestles with other destructive behavior.
Rachael wears a tattoo of her aunt - murdered by a distant family member who, despite struggling with mental illness her whole life, was able to easily purchase a gun.
"How fast does a bullet travel? How fast does a synapse fire? That's how fast a life is destroyed, how fast a family is destroyed."
“If people only knew what it’s like to be in our shoes for even a day, this problem would be gone.”
Chaka’s son was shot behind his right ear. Despite the fact that he was left-handed, the police labeled his death a suicide and closed the case.
Shortly before committing suicide, David’s son called the police to tell them where they could find his body—so his parents and brother wouldn’t worry.
Jane says that she hates this part of her home, as it's where she learned that her sister was among the educators killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Karen & Amy
Karen and Amy were watching a movie in an Aurora, CO theater when the shooting began. While not physically wounded, they bear the same emotional and psychological trauma as those that were.
They still regularly attend movies at that theater and sit in the very same seats.
"He put the gun to the roof of his mouth and pulled the trigger. I always knew that he'd make me watch it."
"I have very noticeable eyes. I remember the cop telling me I looked dead but then he noticed my eyes open."
I asked J how he deals with the murder of his brother by his half brother and he told me, “I have a very, very, very, very strong family.”