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.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News


Ken Fall

How good habits can lower your risk for the deadliest form of skin cancer

Utah has the highest rate of melanoma in the nation – more than double the national average. But if caught early, melanoma is highly curable.

12 hours ago

Provo River running high...

Andrew Adams

Provo River to run closer to flood stage as managers navigate runoff

City officials said they expected flows along the Provo River to be increased again next week as water managers continued to work through the spring runoff.

12 hours ago

Free Frazil Fridays Utah...

Cimaron Neugebauer

3 steps to enjoy a free Frazil on Fridays in Utah, Idaho, Nevada

Free Frazil Fridays: Grab a 12 oz. cup at a participating Utah, Idaho or Nevada location and fill it up with your favorite Frazil flavor.

2 days ago

Cottonwood High School begins a major redesign on the teen wellness center....

Shara Park & Cimaron Neugebauer

Cottonwood High breaks ground for teen wellness center

Cottonwood High School broke ground on a new teen wellness center, on Thursday. It's the first of its kind for the Granite School District.

2 days ago

FILE: Jay Schmidt shows the texts between himself and a scammer....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Fraudster impersonates Gov. Cox, asks for gift cards

A fraudster impersonated Gov. Cox, trying to swindle others into buying gift cards.

2 days ago

(Courtesy: Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Eliza Pace & Shelby Lofton

One dead in fatal SLC stabbing, one person in custody

One person was stabbed and killed near 1875 S. Redwood Road Thursday evening.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Parkland school shooting survivors speak out in Park City