Students coming to Roswell to help heal

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Arapahoe High reaches out to Berrendo students

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re separated by nearly 500 miles and a seven hour drive, yet they share something that brings them so close to one another.

They’ve both experienced a shooting in their school and have had their lives changed forever.

“We’ll be that arm to wrap around you,” David Courtney said in a YouTube video. “We’ll be that shoulder to cry on because we know what you’re going through.”

That’s been Courtney’s mission for nearly a week now.

Finally, plans are in place for the teen who lived through a school shooting to head to Roswell after a shooting at Berrendo Middle School.

“I’ve really wanted to be there and help them more than I ever imagined,” Courtney said in a Skype interview Sunday.

The senior at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., has a special connection with Roswell students, but it’s a connection he wishes he didn’t have.

“I know what it’s like to have to walk through those doors again and have to pick back up where you left off,” Courtney said.

On Tuesday, State Police say seventh grader Mason Campbell sent 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez and 13-year-old Kendal Sanders to the hospital after shooting them with a shotgun in the Berrendo gym.

A month earlier, on Dec. 13, a student at Arapahoe High School shot and killed 17-year-old Claire Davis before taking his own life.

“It really makes you think about you and the people around you and how you can better your community,” Courtney said.

Courtney is bringing 22 of his classmates to Roswell to help those hurting and those trying to heal.

He says people have been raising money to get them here.

“Me (sic) and everybody here at Arapahoe are so grateful that they are aiding us in this process.”

The Warriors will be meeting the Bulldogs on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Courtney says moving forward isn’t easy and that students have to remember better times and the way things used to be.

“Learning to laugh again and learning to get to your roots, be a kid, and having fun again really helps to heal,” Courtney said.

Courtney and the rest of his group will leave early Saturday morning. They hope to be in Roswell by noon. From there, they’ll meet with families and students.

The two kids injured in the Berrendo shooting are still in the hospital as of Sunday night.

Tavarez remains in critical condition and Sanders is recovering.

Classes resumed at Berrendo Middle School on Thursday.

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