Two Local Mass Shooting Survivors Reliving Trauma After Back to Back Shootings

Two Local Mass Shooting Survivors Reliving Trauma After Back to Back Shootings

Kitty Alvarado Connect

They are the forgotten victims. Survivors of mass shootings.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever forget,” says Patricia Caster from Indio.

They walk around with invisible wounds that are opened up every time there’s another shooting.

“My stomach dropped, my heart started beating way faster, it started bringing everything back from almost two years ago when we were involved in a shooting and my son got shot,” says Caster.

Caster and her family lived through the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas in 2017.

“I remember the sound of the gunfire, I remember running, I remember people running like a stampede,” says Caster. 

A gunman opened fire on concert goers from a hotel window killing 58 people and wounding over 500, among them her son, who was left paralyzed. Like many survivors she deals with guilt.

“I would have taken his place in a heartbeat,” says Caster.

Caster and her daughter Jodie Osisanya say the trauma from that day is never far away.

“There’s a lot of things that trigger anxiety in me and definitely loud noises is probably at the top,” says Caster.

People seem to have a short memory and even one as deadly as the one in Las Vegas is already forgotten. And because they seem okay, their pain is often not acknowledged.

“It’s like, ‘Yeah okay, you’re safe that’s fine,’ but they don’t know what internally you know, you have nightmares … for us survivors it’s there forever.” says Osisanya.

The shootings in Gilroy, ElPaso and Dayton have them reeling.

“You try to keep pushing it back, back, back so that you can live a normal life but then when something like this happens it all comes back and it’s like it’s happening to you all over again,” says Caster.

They say the survivors have a long road ahead of them but with love and support they will be okay.

Still they hope these latest shootings are the wake up call politicians need to take action.

“How many more people have to die before something is done?” says Caster.