Survivor of Roswell school shooting urges adults to teach kids gun safety

Nathanial Tavarez will be speaking at the “Stop, Lock and Store” gun safety presentation at Lubbock’s Safety City
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Statistics say 75% of school shootings happen from guns that students obtain at home, according to a local doctor.

This was true in the case of the Roswell school shooting, where Nathaniel Tavarez was critically injured. Tavarez will be speaking tomorrow at the “Stop, Lock and Store” presentation at Lubbock’s Safety City, where kids and adults alike can learn how gun safety and mental health awareness save lives.

Tavarez, when remembering the horrors of the school shooting he experienced on Jan. 14th, 2014, says he woke up that morning with a weird feeling in his stomach. That day, a twelve-year-old would bring his father’s shotgun to school and fire three rounds into a crowd of students. One of those rounds struck twelve-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez.

“The shooter walked into the gym and fired three random shots with loss of control of the gun and then dropped the firearm,” Tavarez said.

Now, years after the event, Tavarez says he is still dealing with the repercussions. With over 1,000 lead pellets still in his body and blindness in his left eye, Tavarez will forever be reminded of that day. He now says it is the responsibility of gun owners to properly store their firearms, ensuring that the “wrong hands” can’t get ahold of them.

“Keeping it out of the hands of the wrong people. And by wrong people I’m meaning uninformed people who don’t know how to properly utilize a firearm in a safe manner,” Tavarez said.

Along with gun safety, Tavarez will be speaking about the need for mental assessments and treatment for students within the K-12 system. Tavarez says his school shooter might have been experiencing bullying at school. Because of this, he says students also need family support and check-ins from parents to ensure they are okay.

“Talking to your children, asking them ‘how was school today?’. But really dive deeper into that, ‘What did you learn?’. Maybe positive things, but also ‘How are you doing with your friends, how are you doing socially?’”

Tomorrow at one o’clock, the public is invited to attend the gun safety presentation at Safety City and hear Nathaniel speak. Attendees will be given a free gun lock, as well as information which could save a life.

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