Parkland school shooting survivors speak out in Park City

Mar 24, 2018, 8:29 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2018, 12:29 am

PARK CITY — At first glance, the Park City “March for our Lives” rally against gun violence may seem like any other, but away from the signs and the bracelets were three people who may have had a stronger reason to be there than most.

“It was so empowering,” said McKenna Pfahl. “Like, seeing everyone here, like all the way in Utah.”

Even a simple talk with the media draws a crowd for Logan Phafl, McKenna Phafl, and Emily Burke, visiting Park City on Spring Break from their home in Florida.

“I remember my teacher sitting in the back, crying, and I’ve never seen him cry,” Logan Pfahl said. “He’s the football coach.”

All three are students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people were killed by a former student last month.

“I remember having to hold my hands over my friend’s mouth, telling her she has to stop screaming, she has to stop crying, because if he walked by our room and heard her, we could have all died,” Logan Phafl said.

“I was in a closet with a bunch of people, and I just remember getting in there and being like, ‘What’s just happened,’ and thinking I was going to die.” said McKenna Pfahl.  “I was like, I’m never going to see my family again, I’m never going to be able to hug my mom or my dad again.”

“I remember a golf cart coming up with Coach Feis, and he was one of victims, and he said, like ‘You need to run for your lives, you need to get out of here,'” said Emily Burke.

“I remember hearing the gunshots,” said Logan Pfahl. “You hear the kids screaming, and you’d hear the footsteps of them running across and pulling on our door, screaming ‘Help, let us in, let us in,’ and you couldn’t do anything. As much as you wanted to get up and let them in, you don’t know who’s right behind them.”

All three students say they’re still traumatized by the events of that day, and fear loud noises. While they may not have all the answers, they all believe that arming teachers isn’t a good solution.

“There was rumors that there was two, three shooters, no one knew the truth,” Logan Pfahl said. “If you give a teacher a gun — SWAT broke into my room.  They broke in, and had guns pointing at everyone saying ‘Is the shooter in here?’ If they would have saw a gun, they definitely would have opened fire.'”

“Their job is to educate and to teach you new things and to help you grow as a person,” said McKenna Pfahl.  “Not to have a gun on them.  Say you have a kid that’s bigger than that teacher.  God forbid, but that kid can get that gun, if that kid takes down that teacher.  You can’t say that’s never going to happen, because you don’t know.”

And although talking about that day isn’t easy, they say they feel a responsibility to share their experiences with others, in the hopes that it won’t happen again.

“We’re the ones who experienced it,” McKenna Phafl said. “We know what it feels like, and we don’t want to go through it again.”

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Parkland school shooting survivors speak out in Park City