Several survivors of the 1998 Thurston High School Shooting gathered with current students today at the Memorial site just off campus.
Nichole Burcal was shot in the leg, after one of Kip Kinkel’s bullets ricocheted inside the cafeteria twenty years ago. She and her family laid a bouquet of flowers at the marker for Mikael Nickolauson and Ben Walker.
Looking at the crowd of just over a hundred people, Burcal says she’s pleased with the support she’s received since the incident.
“Any time the community can come together, it’s kind of helps the healing process," Burcal tells KLCC.
"We all kind of help heal each other, and we’re there to talk to each other when we need to, and hug each other when we need a hug, and I have a great family, support system.”
Thurston High junior Rio Samaniego and Springfield Schools Superintendent Sue Rieke-Smith gave short speeches, and there was a moment of silence. A red and white sheet of paper was laid out, so students and Thurston alum alike could sign it and leave messages for each other.
On May 21st, 1998, freshman Kip Kinkel fired upon his classmates at Thurston High, after killing his parents the night before. Two students died, and two dozen more were wounded. Kinkel’s serving 112 years at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem.
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