FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – One North Texas pastor has experience dealing with an incident similar to the Colorado massacre early Friday morning that left at least 12 people dead.
It was a September evening in 1999 when a gunman opened fire at a youth gathering inside Fort Worth’s Wedgwood Baptist Church. The gunman fired some 100 shots. Seven people were killed and seven others injured.
Pastor Al Meredith said those memories flashed back when he heard about the shooting in Colorado.
“Just the tragedy of it all, the grief and heartache it’s gonna produce. The long-term scars its gonna leave on everybody’s life,” he said.
Meredith said both incidents involved young people and that makes it particularly difficult since youngsters generally aren’t able to cope with the death.
“Young people don’t have any ‘file’ to place this in,” said Meredith. “They all think they’re gonna live forever. Death is something they see on their video games but they don’t’ ever think it’s gonna happen to them or someone they love.”
Right now Meredith advises the adults involved to be honest with those who were at the theater.
“Some people will try to tell them ‘don’t feel this way or don’t think that’. I think that’s wrong,” Meredith advised. “Give them the freedom to feel their feelings. They need to express their outrage. They’re gonna have survivor guilt.”
Though the shooting at Wedgwood was 13 years ago Pasto Meredith said the impact is forever.
“It’s not quite as painful, but still very real.”