‘It’s just like Groundhog Day’: Gun violence survivors struggle with ongoing trauma
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Three years of triple-digit homicides in Louisville have left 521 people dead and approximately 1,500 wounded.
Even that number pales in comparison to the number of family, friends and loved ones who are living with the consequences.
On Monday, the beginning of National Gun Violence Survivors Week, Mayor Craig Greenberg joined other survivors making emotional appeals for public support of efforts to reduce gun violence.
“Next week will mark one year since an individual walked into my campaign office and fired six shots directly at me,” Greenberg said. “I think about that incident every day.”
“I found myself severely depressed while also navigating my way through a newly diagnosed PTSD paranoia,” survivor Janae Wright said, “leaving me completely isolated from society like I have found to be the case for many other survivors.”
Wright was three months pregnant when she was shot six times in February 2021.
Both she and her baby survived.
Countless thousands of Louisville residents also endure the long-term trauma of losing a loved one.
“Some days are a blur,” Candy Linear said in her Shawnee neighborhood home. “Some days are just, just like Groundhog Day. It’s the same day every day.”
For her, every day is July 21, 2021, the day the city’s gun violence took her 16-year-old daughter.
Nylah Linear was an innocent bystander killed in a drive-by shooting.
Her mother heard the gunshots from her front porch but could not reach her daughter in time.
“Her eyes were rolling in the back of her head,” Candy Linear said. “Her mouth was open. She had blood coming out her mouth. She was just done.”
Linear’s living room has become a shrine to the life that could have been.
Two of her other children witnessed her daughter’s death. One has since attempted suicide. The other is afraid of loud noises, crowds and being outside.
“There’s not going to be a generation left the way our kids are dying,” Linear said.
Linear is just one of potentially thousands of gun violence survivors in the city, constantly reliving the pain and struggling to feel alive.
So far in 2023, the city is again on pace to see more than a hundred homicides.
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