A father and son both survived deadly mass shootings that took place within months of each other.
CNN reports that Braden Freidkes was attending class last Wednesday when suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people. To the relief of his frantic parents, Braden made it out alive.
“We were one of the lucky ones. We were able to get him and he was safe,” John Freidkes, Braden’s father, told CNN.
It was the second time in six months that the family had been lucky. John Freidkes was in Las Vegas the night of October 1, when Stephen Paddock shot at a crowd of concertgoers attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 people.
“There was a crowd of people running towards us yelling ‘there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” John Freidkes told the news station.
“We were lucky enough to jump in a taxi cab where there were two women in there already. One was hyperventilating, the other was seemingly in shock. We asked if they were coming from the venue and they were.”
Though father and son are grateful to be alive, they are still reeling from the shocking experiences. Braden, a freshman, lost a beloved teacher in the school shooting. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Marjory Stoneman Douglas geography teacher Scott Beigel was gunned down just after he opened his classroom door to let students inside.
On top of the trauma, Braden’s father told CNN that he’s disturbed by the frequency of gun violence in the U.S.
“You get up every morning and you’re afraid to turn on the news,” John said.
“My parents never had to talk to me about situations like this.”
[Feature image: Associated Press]