Columbia High School shooter wants to change mental health conversation

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While working at an Albany homeless shelter three months ago, a man wielding razor sharp swords viciously attacked and seriously injured Jon Romano.

When he was 16 years old in 2004, he walked into Columbia High School with a shotgun and opened fire on students and staff.

Romano is now speaking out about his mindset back in 2004.

Many people will never forgive Romano for what he did 18 years ago. He understands that.

However, he’s speaking out now because he wants to be part of a community-wide dialogue. He wants to be part of the conversation to change the way people think about individuals suffering mental health crises.

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Romano offers a unique perspective. There are very few, if any, school shooters in America who aren’t dead or in prison, let alone out there talking about the stigma of mental health.

Romano said to NewsChannel 13 he has vivid recall of what he was thinking in 2004 when he walked into Columbia High with a gun. He said he remembers feeling trapped, and said he felt like he was being sucked into an abyss because he wasn’t leading a meaningful or purposeful life. Romano says he walked into the school not to harm anybody else. He wanted to die that day.

Even though, for the past 18 years, he has despised being referred to as a “school shooter,” he now kind of embraces that moniker, intent to use it to help others.

Learn about how by watching the video of Dan Levy’s story.

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