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Michigan State Shooting Survivor Reveals She Also Survived Sandy Hook In Heartbreaking TikTok

Jackie Matthews, who survived the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is now a senior at Michigan State University—and lives directly across from where the deadly shooting took place on Monday night.

TikTok screenshot of Jackie Matthews; a sign for Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
@jmattttt/TikTok; Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The ubiquity of mass shootings in the United States is such that there's a higher probability that someone who survived one mass shooting might be retraumatized when forced to contend with another.

Consider Jackie Matthews, who survived the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, is now a senior at Michigan State University—where a gunman killed three of her fellow students and wounded five others on Monday night.

Matthews found herself reliving the horror and anxiety of the first mass shooting even more directly upon learning the shooting take place directly across from her dorm.

The 21-year-old went viral on TikTok for sharing that the fact "that this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through is incomprehensible" and revealing she still suffers from a “full-blown PTSD fracture” in her lower back from the hours she spent sheltering in place during the Sandy Hook shooting.

Although she later changed her settings to "private," Matthews' video would also be shared widely on Twitter.

You can hear what she said in the video below.

Matthews said:

"I am 21 years old, and this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through."
"Ten years and two months ago I survived the Sandy Hook shooting. And when I was crouched in the corner in school in Newtown, Connecticut, on 12/14/12, I was hunched in the corner with my classmates for so long that I actually got a PTSD fracture in my L4 and L5 [vertebrae] in my right lower back."
"I now have a full-blown PTSD fracture that flares up anytime I am in a stressful situation, or anything occurs that's aggressive like that. The fact that this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through is incomprehensible."

Matthews went on to say that her "heart goes out to all the families and the friends of the victims of this Michigan State shooting" but called for politicians to pass comprehensive gun reform because "we can no longer just provide love and prayers":

"It needs to be legislation, it needs to be action. It's not okay. We can no longer allow this to happen."
"We can no longer be complacent. I'll forever be Sandy Hook strong, and forever be Spartan strong."

Matthews' video prompted many to express their outrage and sadness while echoing her call for reform.

Sadly, Matthews is not the only MSU student to go through similar, frightening experiences.

Emma Riddle, a freshman studying history at the university, survived the November 2021 shooting at Oxford High School, located about 80 miles from the university campus. Her father told CNN she "was very fearful and scared" and that he "just talked to her and tried to make her feel calm.”

"Tonight, I am sitting under my desk at Michigan State University, once again texting everyone ‘I love you,’" she wrote online.

Andrea Ferguson, whose daughter started classes at the university just one month ago, told CNN affiliate WDIV her daughter and other classmates were also survivors of the same shooting.

Ferguson said she was on the phone with her daughter when she received texts about the shooting on campus and said the experience "was like reliving Oxford all over again."