Lillian Duarte is 15 years old and in the five years that she has been a student at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado she has taken part in almost 50 active shooter drills. Still, nothing could have prepared her for the worst of what happened yesterday when two shooters began to attack her school.
In a recent interview, the student shared pictures of the texts between her friends and family as well as audio of her experiencing listening to the shooting.
On Tuesday, May 7, two students entered the campus of STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school, around 2 pm and proceeded to attack students and teachers with guns.
Duarte who was in a math class at the time with 35 of her classmates heard a lockdown announcement over school speakers.
Duarte says that she, her teacher and peers initially experienced confusion when the announcement came on.
“The teacher paused for a second,” Duarte told Buzzfeed in an interview. “She wasn’t sure whether to lock the door or not. Everyone thought it was a drill at the time.”
Duarte says that initially she and her fellow students sat waiting in the classroom with the lights on to see what was happening.
It wasn’t until Duarte received a series of messages from her friends in a group chat that she realized something was wrong. The drill was real.
“Whoever’s doing it was in the room next to me,” one of her friends texted her in the group chat. “He yelled I have a gun.”
Duarte says that she showed the text messages to her teacher who then turned off all of the lights and moved the class to the back of the room as far away from the door as possible.
“Attention, please. Lockdown. Block lights. Out of sight,” is the automated announcement that blared on the speakers across the school repeatedly while Duarte and her classmates waited 20 minutes in the black of their classroom for police to rescue them.
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Domestic abuse, whether it entails physical violence or emotional abuse, continues to be a national crisis. Particularly among women of color and those who are undocumented. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence. The organization whose mission is to change the conditions that can lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism, has also reported that in the United States an average of about 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. A new court case out of Texas is highlighting the severity of which these abusive relationships can excel to.
WARNING: the details in this story are graphic and can be traumatizing or triggering to some.
Recently, police in Texas filed criminal charges against a man who allegedly used a knife to carve his name into his girlfriend’s forehead.
Police in Texas say that 19-year-old n was arguing with his girlfriend, 22- year-old Catalina Mireles when things became violent on December 5th. At some point in the argument, Hildreth is reported to have grabbed Mireles by the neck and then hit her in the face about 10 times. Soon after, a police affidavit says that he took hold of a knife and “carved his name onto her forehead.” Soon after, he fled from the apartment. He was arrested on Friday.
Mireles told the local police that she thought she was going to die. “He was going to put in the closet until he figured out what he was going to do with my body,” she told police.
According to KSAT, Hildreth has a history of domestic and family violence. The police affidavit also stated that he had two outstanding warrants — one for burglary assault and another for assault of family assault.
Pictures of Mireles after the assault, emerged on outlets such as The New York Post on Monday morning.
Speaking to KSAT, Mirele’s mother said that her daughter was “scared for her life.” “He tried to kill her,” Mireles’ mother, Juanita Lopez, told the outlet. “I don’t ever want him to get out again — because he’s going to hurt someone else again.”
Hildreth was jailed on Sunday on a $75,000 bond.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages. Online chat is available 24/7/365 in Spanish. Get help without saying a word.
There are many ways that abuse can be identified. By the way your partner treats you physically, by the way, they treat you emotionally, and by how you feel about the relationship. This checklist of signs of abuse is one tool that you can use to see if you, or someone you know, is a victim of abuse.
And remember, more resources for dealing with abuse can be found by calling The National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1800 799 7233.
1. They have grabbed you and refused to let go.
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This falls into the category of physical abuse. No-one should grab you to make you feel threatened and unsafe. No-one.
This is another form of physical abuse. Sure, a bit of hair pulling in the act of passion is fine. But when it happens as part of an argument, or when your partner is deliberately trying to hurt you or make you feel threatened, that is abuse.
3. They have thrown things at you and/or destroyed your belongings.
One way your significant other may try to control you is through your belongings. Throwing things at you and destroying your belongings is designed to hurt you physically and emotionally. Threatening to do so also falls under this category of behavior, too.
4. They have left you with bruises, black eyes, bleeding, and/or broken bones.
While abuse doesn’t necessarily have to leave marks on your body, a sure sign of physical abuse in your relationship is when your partner does leave marks. Research shows that once it happens the first time, a “threshold” of sorts has been crossed, and an abuser is more likely to hurt their partner again.
It may not seem like abuse, since there are no physical marks left from a threat to hurt or kill you. However, these threats are still part of the arsenal of tools that abusers use. How? Because these threats are designed to control your behavior, and make you feel powerless. Abuse in a relationship is about the abuser gaining and maintaining power, and death threats are a way of emotionally controlling you.
6. They have threatened to take your children away or harm them.
Even if you have children together, children shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip in your relationship. Even more importantly, your children’s safety is non-negotiable: no partner of yours should threaten it. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to children. Pets can also be used to manipulate and control you in a relationship.
Sex is not a “duty” to be fulfilled in a loving, equal relationship. Nor should your partner guilt trip or manipulate you into participating in sex acts after you have refused sex. Consent needs to be freely given! It doesn’t matter how long the two of you have been together. Otherwise, it’s classed as sexual assault.
All mass shootings are travesties. Whether they occur in a public place or a school, they always instill fear, sadness, and numbness mainly because they happen so often. When a shooting occurs on a military camp, it is just as daunting and debilitating because servicemen and servicewomen are there to protect and serve. Yet we also know they too suffer from an array of mental health issues simply because of their profession. The shooting at Pearl Harbor is another example of the gun violence crisis gripping this nation.
Officials have identified the U.S. sailor who killed two people and himself as 22-year-old Gabriel Romero.
On Dec. 4 at around 2:30 p.m., authorities say that Romero began shooting at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. He shot three Department of Defense workers at the Dry Dock 2 on the base, the New York Post reports. Two of the victims, both males, were declared dead later at the hospital.
One witness said he saw the shooter and assumed he was a sailor “because he was in a sailor uniform.” He also reports, according to the New York Post, that he recognized the sound as gunfire and also witnessed the shooter shoot himself. The third victim is currently recovering at a local hospital.
While all the victims were working on the base, they are considered civilians, not military.
“These victims are not only dedicated [International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers] IFPTE union members, they are hard-working public servants who go to work each day to serve the taxpayers and our military forces. They are reflective of the thousands of workers at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere that go to work to earn a living and serve their nation,” the organization said, according to the Star Advertiser. “No worker should have to go to work without the expectation of safely returning to their family and loved ones.” One of the victims has been identified as 32-year-old Vincent Kapoi Jr., a local of Hawaii. The names of the other two victims have not been released.
“We are saddened by this incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, said in a statement posted on Facebook. “The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is a vital part of our Navy ohana, and we have generations of families who work there. Our security forces are working closely with agencies investigating this incident, and we are making counseling and other support available to those who need it after this tragedy.”
Officials have not reported a motive by the shooter. At the time of the shooting, Romero’s duty was to guard the USS Columbia, a Pearl Harbor-based submarine that was in the drydock for maintenance at the time.
According to the Navy Region Hawaii, Base security, Navy investigative services, and other agencies are investigating the incident. However, Hawaii News Now is reporting that Romero had been ordered to take anger management classes. The outlet says that Romero “was having disciplinary problems at work,” and was instructed to seek help for his anger issues.
Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, told reporters that he wasn’t sure if Romero knew the people he shot. Shipyard Commander Capt. Greg Burton did send a message to families of the victims, saying, “Looking ahead, we will honor the life and legacy of those lost,” Burton said, according to Hawaii News Now.
“Even now, as we mourn the loss of members of our ”ohana, please take the opportunity to reconnect with each other and to reinforce and strengthen the bonds with each other.”
“We still owe a great debt to the greatest generation,” Scott McGaugh, the marketing director for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, said to the San Diego Tribune. There are very few of them left. When we honor these kinds of days it reminds all of us that our nation can come together and unify for the greater good. That was certainly the case in World War II.”
On Dec.r 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii, killing 2,335 military servicemen and women, and 68 civilians. It is unclear if the Saturday anniversary event at Pearl Harbor will pay respect to the people who died this week.