5 years since Santa Fe High School shooting, new statue unveiled to honor 10 victims
HOUSTON - It's been five years since the deadly mass shooting at Santa Fe High School.
On this day in 2018, 10 people were killed, 13 were wounded, and the entire community’s lives were changed forever.
The Santa Fe 10 Memorial Foundation unveiled the Warrior Spirit statue on school grounds Thursday.
TIMELINE: Santa Fe shooting timeline: What happened that horrific day
The Warrior is seen holding up 10 eagle feathers to honor the ten lives taken too soon.
May 18 is a solemn day for many, and we spoke with some of the victims' family members.
In her first sit-down interview since the deadly mass shooting five years ago, Ashley Perkins-Seagraves said she’ll be facing her grief head-on by returning to Santa Fe High School for the first time in years.
Her mom, Ann Perkins, was one of the 10 people murdered by a gunman on May 18, 2018.
The Warrior Spirit statue unveiled at Santa Fe High School to honor the mass shooting victims.
"My mom cared a lot about the kids there, and she was known as the cool sub. And honestly, I don’t know what she did to this kid to deserve it," Perkins-Seagraves said.
A year ago, Ashley and her husband moved to Nashville for a job opportunity. A few months into their new home and a tragedy all too familiar broke out minutes away.
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"Being in Nashville, they just had the Covenant School shooting. And when that happened I was 10 minutes away from that school," Perkins-Seagraves said.
Every victim's loved one handles May 18 differently. Most families choose to leave town entirely.
Some, like Rhonda Hart, who lost her daughter, Kimberly Vaughan, schedule a day of distractions.
This year, she’s touring the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
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"Just kind of get my mind out of that, you know, huge, depressive, crying state. I don't want to spend all day crying tomorrow, and I just try to find things that bring me joy," Hart said.
Recently, Rhonda and other Santa Fe families successfully passed Senate Bill 435 in the Texas legislature, which would grant victims’ families access to their loved ones’ autopsy reports after a crime.
In five years, the case has not gone to trial as the admitted shooter remains under mental evaluation. Until now, the families have not received the closure they desperately need.
"We testified in front of the House, in the Senate, we went back and forth; and the only thing we're waiting for right now is for Greg Abbott to sign the bill and make it officially a law," Hart said.