CHICAGO (CBS) — One Chicagoan speaks with particular expertise on the topic of Newtown, Conn.
Garrett Evans, Chicago-born and -raised, was wounded in the Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 dead more than five years ago. A hollow-point bullet remains lodged in his leg.
“As thankful as I am to God that I’m still here after Virginia Tech and other things, this just makes me so sad,” Evans tells CBS 2’s Brad Edwards. “I mean, babies dying.”
The gunman who stormed the Connecticut elementary school Friday morning fatally wounded 20 students and six adults. The horrific crime sent shock waves throughout the United States, even after a series of mass shootings, because of the number of children who perished.
The incident takes Evans back to his own encounter with inexplicable violence in a classroom. At Virginia Tech, shooter Seung-Hui Cho went on a killing spree before he committed suicide. Before he did, Evans, then a student, encountered him.
“Did you make eye contact with the shooter?” Edwards asked him. “Do you remember looking at him? Do you remember that moment?”
“Oh my gosh,” Evans replied. “His face was just so cold. No emotion, no nothing. … I saw demons.”
Evans often speaks to groups on the topic. He’s currently unemployed and looking for work, still dealing with the massacre, he says.
“I really hope this shooting is the turning point,” he says of gun control. “Our legislators need to realize there are too many guns out here. What do we need them for?”
Evans also says, “We have to get back to the basics of being human beings.”