Mom Of Parkland Student: Without Gun Law Changes 'It's Going To Just Keep Happening'
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This morning, we're following the aftermath of that deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida. When it was all over, 17 people were dead. This morning, the 19-year-old alleged gunman has been booked with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Lissette Rozenblat's daughter was there at that school. She got out safely. Yesterday, right after the shooting, she spoke to NPR's Ari Shapiro.
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LISSETTE ROZENBLAT: She was telling me she was safe. She was hiding but to please call the police because there was somebody hurt, and she could hear them crying out for help.
MARTIN: Lissette Rozenblat joins us again now. Thank you so much for making time to talk with us this morning.
ROZENBLAT: Hi. Good morning. Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: How are you and your daughter doing?
ROZENBLAT: Honestly, it's - I woke up this morning. It's just such an emotional day, such a range of emotions. I'm so grateful to have my child home. But in the same breath, to know that there are parents this morning that don't have their children at home - it's just absolutely heartbreaking. And, you know, I'm grateful, but now I'm starting to feel angry. I'm starting to feel like I can't believe we're part of a statistic, you know? I just was watching on the news, and it says, Parkland, mass shooting. It's unreal. It really is.
MARTIN: Who is your anger directed at?
ROZENBLAT: There's so many people to blame, honestly. Everybody - I mean, you go on social media, and everybody has their own perspective as to who to blame or who not to blame. I blame the NRA. I blame the politicians who don't do anything. I blame greed because of the money - just - I mean, we can harp on the perpetrator. In this particular case, he's irrelevant, just like all the other ones are. It could be a mental case - a mental health issue. It could be - it could be a variety of things. But at the end of the day, if we don't address the bigger picture, nothing - there is going to continue to be mental health issues, and there are going to be the terrorist or whatever labels we want to put on them.
But if we don't make a change, it's going to just keep happening. I mean, if nothing changed with Sandy Hook, what can we expect now? I mean, there - I went out last night. I had to go get my kids dinner, and the streets were just packed with news reporters. And it was - it was unreal. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And I know in a week it's going to be gone. It's going to be over. We're going to just be, you know, the third-worst school shooting. We're going to be a statistic. And my kid is going to have that high school memory, you know, embedded in her memory. And that's a sad thing. It's a sad thing that our children are living this way in today's day and age.
MARTIN: I understand your daughter had had some kind of interaction with the alleged shooter. Is that right?
ROZENBLAT: She actually didn't see the shooter, thank God. She - my first - the first communication was around 2:30 in the afternoon. I unfortunately had missed the call and missed the text. My husband was home, so we were together, and he showed me her text, and it said there's a shooter in the school. And unfortunately, we've seen - you know, we've heard rumors when she was in middle school and when things happen that kids kind of panic. But he - you know, he told her to stay calm, and he called the school to verify if it was true. And then I saw his face when he got off the phone, and he was just pale. Like, he couldn't believe this was happening.
And so he took off. He just got in his car, and he just went to try to get to the school. And I grabbed my cellphone and then I started reading her messages, and she was saying, you know, Mommy, I'm - there's a shooter in the school. I'm fine. I'm hiding. And then she just kept insisting, please, call the police, there's somebody hurt on my floor. So I started trying to get more information from her, and she just kept reiterating, please, call the police. I can hear the person crying. And I think I mentioned this before in another interview.
MARTIN: Let me ask you just briefly - how will you - how will you and your daughter spend today?
ROZENBLAT: We're going to take her to the grief counseling that they're having here in our community. They're holding a variety of counseling services, so she was open to going. So - I mean, I think it's important for these kids to be able to vent and to be with their friends at this time right now. We've never gone through something like this, so...
MARTIN: Lissette Rozenblat - she's the parent of a student who was there at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday. Thank you for your time this morning.
ROZENBLAT: Thank you. Have a great day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.