WEST CHESTER, Ohio (AP) -- The first reports of an Ohio school shooting jarred and saddened a resident whose daughter barely survived the Columbine High School shooting spree in 1999.
Shari Schnurr found herself glued to the TV on Monday, watching coverage of the shootings that claimed three lives at Chardon High School in northeastern Ohio.
"You just get a sick, sick feeling," said Schnurr, who moved to West Chester, in southwestern Ohio, last year to live with her sister and family after suffering serious injuries in a vehicle accident in Colorado. "You pray that everything is going to be OK."
She was soon text-messaging her four children, including oldest daughter Valeen. Valeen Schnurr was shot at close range at Columbine, her body peppered with bullets and shrapnel, while her close friend and fellow senior Lauren Townsend was gunned down near her. Lauren was among 12 students and one teacher killed before the shooters committed suicide.
"It stirs emotions up," Shari said of watching the Chardon scenes. "You see parents reuniting with their children. But I also understand perfectly well what it's like to learn that your child has been shot and taken to the hospital."
Valeen underwent multiple operations, including reconstructive surgeries, and her mother said shrapnel still inside her causes irritations.
As in Littleton, Colo., Chardon seemed an unlikely place for such fatal violence, Schnurr said. She said she would talk with parents there or help in any way she could.
"It's just a life-changing thing," she said. "Healing is a process, and it takes forever."
Schnurr, who is divorced, said in the years after the shootings, April 20 became a day for remembering. She and family members would visit the school, a nearby memorial to the victims, and lay flowers at Lauren Townsend's grave.
"For us, it is April 20," she said. "For people there (in Chardon), it will be Feb. 27."
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