San Antonio

San Antonio couple helps families of mass shooting victims after daughter killed in Colorado theater shooting

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio couple who lost their daughter in a mass shooting practically a decade in the past is aware of the ache that Uvalde families now face in the wake of final week’s faculty shooting at Robb Elementary, the place 19 college students and two academics lost their lives.

Sandy and Lonnie Phillips lost their daughter, Jessica Ghawi, in a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, film theater in 2012. Since then, they’ve made it their mission to assist different families who lose family members in mass shootings.

Ghawi was a 24-year-old aspiring sports activities reporter when she was killed in 2012.

Sandy Phillips remembers the final time she spoke along with her daughter, who was dwelling in Colorado as she began her journalism career.

“She said, ‘Go back to bed, Mom. Get some rest. I need my mama.’ And I wrote back, ‘I need my baby girl,’” Phillips mentioned. “That was our last text. And about 35, 40 minutes later, I got a call from inside the theater from the young man she was with.”


Lonnie Phillips heard his spouse’s screams from that cellphone name.

“That’s when I knew my life would never be the same, and I didn’t have a daughter anymore,” Lonnie mentioned.

The couple selected to show the ache of dropping Jessica into function.

They stay life on the street in an RV, touring from one mass shooting to the subsequent with a mission to console and information families by heartbreak. They supply the families resources by their nonprofit, Survivors Empowered.

The Phillips had been in Buffalo, New York, once they heard concerning the tragedy in Uvalde.

Their work with Survivors Empowered took them to Buffalo after 10 individuals had been killed and three others had been harm in a shooting at a grocery store two weeks in the past.

The couple is now spending per week in Uvalde, passing out their “Survivors Toolkit” guidebooks and doing what they will to assist victims’ families.

Sandy Phillips mentioned the families will study to outlive and stay with their grief.


“You don’t get over it. It morphs. It changes, but you never get over it,” Sandy mentioned.

Their “Survivors Toolkit” by Survivors Empowered gives recommendation and data on matters reminiscent of emotional trauma and how one can increase money or deal with potential lawsuits.

The toolkit is obtainable at no cost obtain by clicking here.

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