Berrendo Middle School shooting victim speaks out

Updated: 05/03/2014 10:23 AM | Created: 05/02/2014 10:11 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It was January 14, just like any other Tuesday.

"It was just a regular morning, I go into the gym and I sit down talking with all my friends," Kendal Sanders said. "And just out of nowhere, you hear this big, really, really loud sound. I thought it was fireworks because I've been hit with a roman candle before and that's what I thought it was. But it wasn't."

Kendal describes what unfolded next.

"And everyone was freaking out and it was just total chaos," she said. "After it all happened, I looked down and I saw him standing in the middle of the gym with the big gun right on the ground in front of him with his hands up."

Police say her classmate, 12-year-old Mason Campbell, walked in to the gym with a sawed-off shotgun and opened fire.

Two students were hit.

Kendal had no idea she was one of them, until: "One of my friends was like, 'Oh my god Kendal, you're bleeding,'" Kendal said. "When we got inside the classroom, I was like, 'Mrs. Featherstone, I'm really hurting.' And she looked, she was like, 'Oh my god.'"

"First call I got, just there was a shooting at the school," said Kendal's father, Bert Sanders.  "And second call I got... was that they were taking my daughter to the emergency room just to check her out. They didn't tell me she got shot at the same time."

Kendal remembers how her teacher called 911.

"When they knocked on the door, they're all, 'Sheriffs, open up,' and she's like, 'Show me your badges, I'm not letting you in unless you show me your badges.' And they showed her and she let them in, and they took me from there," she said.

But the ordeal was just beginning.  Little did Kendal know the pain ahead, the hospital visits, and the scars.

"It's been very stressful--financially, physically, mentally--just draining. All the bills coming in and stuff. Everyday I kind of get madder and madder, everyday just seeing what Kendal is going through," Bert Sanders said.

Kendal was hospitalized for nearly a week.

Inside her body, 150 lead pellets remain. They cause muscle spasms, pain and recurring infections.

But they're near major organs, and can't be removed.

"The expenses are just unreal," her father said,

The medical bills add up to $200,000 and they keep coming. The Sanders want the shooter's family to help.

"Our main thing is step up to the plate, and take care of the financial responsibility," Bert Sanders said. "You know it's not fair to us to have to pay for everything, why should we , the state, have to pay for everything."

Even so, Kendal's father says they've forgiven the Campbells.

"And I want to clear the record. We do not mean any ill will to the family, we don't hate Mason, we don't mean anything towards the family," he said.

"It's not the same, at all," Kendal said. "It probably won't be for a while."

Kendal says she can't wait to return to Berrendo Middle School, something she hopes to do this fall.

"I miss seeing my friends and being able to go to all of my classes and talk with them every day, and just seeing them all the time," she said.

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