ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re connected in the worst of ways, but students affected by a school shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado made the trip to Roswell Saturday night to offer words of encouragement, and help with the healing process for Berrendo Middle.
The visit came nearly two weeks after police said 12-year-old Mason Campbell carried a shotgun into the Berrendo Middle School gym, and shot 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez, and 13-year-old Kendal Sanders. Hundreds of students in the gym witnessed the tragedy.
The victims, and several of their classmates are still healing.
“How do you like cope with going back into the gym, like how do you feel about that, how you’re supposed to deal with it,” said Noah Stroble, Berrendo Mid School Student. They were questions Berrendo students got to ask Arapahoe High students, who made the trip from Centennial, Colorado.
In December of last year, an Arapahoe High student shot and killed 17-year-old Claire Davis before taking his own life.
The connection between the schools, began with a Youtube post, and grew with donations for Colorado students to travel to Roswell, and share up close and personal words of encouragement to the Berrendo students.
“It was amazing and it’s going to be an experience that I will cherish and love for the rest of my life,” said Berrendo 8th grader, Katrina Elliott.
Cameras weren’t allowed inside the meeting held at the Pearson Auditorium in Roswell, because organizers wanted privacy for the students.
But kids and parents alike came out of the meeting saying it helped. “I’m building up emotionally because I finally feel the support that I didn’t feel at the beginning when all this started happening,” said Berrendo 8th grader, Antonio Lara.
“These kids lived through what these kids went through exactly, I think this is much better than someone that hasn’t actually lived through what they’re going through,” said Anthony Stroble, father of a Berrendo Mid School student.
Several described the Arapahoe students as older siblings to Berrendo, some cried sharing stories, offering hugs and support.
“I mean it really means a lot to us,” said Noah Stroble.
Kids in Roswell said Saturday’s support helps them build confidence. “Berrendo brave and bulldog strong, and warrior strong,” said Lara.
Saturday’s theme was warriors protecting bulldogs. Arapahoe students offered the floor to anyone who wanted to ask questions. There were no professional counselors at the meeting.