Mother of teen shot in face speaks out on gun violence

first_imgIn the end of October, 19-year-old Caia Delavergne was shot in the head by a new acquaintance. Incredibly, she survived. Now, her mother, Chelan Schreifels  is speaking out against gun violence.Download AudioSchreifels is organizing an Orange Walk in Anchorage. It’s part of a larger national movement to raise awareness of gun violence in honor of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.Schreifels says her daughter was hanging out with a man named Conor when his best friend Christian burst into the house and started shooting.Photo courtesy Chelan SchreifelsSCHREIFELS: Caia was sitting in the upstairs bedroom, they were getting ready to watch a movie and he ran upstairs, found her sitting on the bed then shot her point blank in the face and then he left.She did call 9-1-1 from her phone, but they weren’t able to help her because they didn’t know where she was, because she didn’t know the address she was at.So she didn’t want to go downstairs because she was afraid he was still in the house, so she jumped out the second story window and actually saw him exit the house, after she had jumped out, and saw him drive away. Thankfully he didn’t see her. And then she got up and ran out the road on 5th and N Street and started trying to flag down some vehicles to help her. And multiple vehicles passed her by without stopping, and finally one person did stop and they determined that she needed help. Got her in the car, called 9-1-1, and sat there with her and held her until the police were able to come.”HILLMAN: In the first initial weeks, I’m sure you were mostly thinking about your daughter, but how did it make you think about gun violence differently?SCHREIFELS:Well, the first thing is, obviously there was a lot of shock, but just that feeling of, this is wrong. I should not have had to worry sending my child to college in her first semester of university. I’d literally just been in Anchorage in September, so I’d seen her six weeks before. Moved her into her dorm. It just seemed so unreal that this could happen. The more I found out about Christian [the alleged shooter] and on his Facebook page, he’s glorifying guns and has so many pictures and videos of himself shooting high-powered assault rifles. I kept thinking thank goodness it wasn’t worse. Thankfully she survived and she’s making a recovery now and she’ll be able to make a full recovery. Obviously, that was a life-changing moment for me.And this is not the first time I’ve been affected by gun violence in my life. I’ve lost two very close family members and multiple friends. And I grew up in Mountain View and shootings were almost a daily occurrence. And I thought it was normal, but two years ago I moved to Japan and it took me about  or 3 months to realize that I wasn’t living in fear when I was walking around anymore. It was a big wake up moment for me in that gun violence is not a way of life everywhere.HILLMAN:  What are you hoping the effects of the Orange Walk will be? What are you hoping it will change?SCHREIFELS: My big thing with the Orange Walk is I’m hoping it can bring people together. I myself am a gun owner as well as most of my friends and my family. And so I’m not against gun ownership or gun rights, so to say. But I am against people infringing up our liberty and our feeling of safety in the community. And I want everybody to come together—gun owners, non-gun owners—all of us to come together and understand that we’re in this together. We’re going to put a face on violence and say it’s unacceptable. We’re not going to stand for our innocent family and friends being gunned down any more.The Orange Walk will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Delaney Park Strip in downtown Anchorage.last_img

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