Romano recovering slowly

ALBANY – Jon Romano is a man who has many wounds yet to heal, but also many questions to ask –some of which may never be answered.

“I ask myself why am I still alive? Why am I going through this?” Romano asks rhetorically, “I guess I have more lessons to learn in life.”

Eighteen years ago, it was Romano’s mental illness and actions that landed him in prison. Those actions entailed walking into Columbia High School with a shotgun and opening fire on students and staff. He was 16 at the time.

Romano has since turned his life around, and has now dedicated his life to helping others by casting light on the darkness of mental illness.

Four weeks ago, on August 29th, it was Randell mason’s alleged actions with a sword, and his apparent mental illness, that landed Romano in a hospital bed.

“Ever since the sword attack, I can’t move my limbs except recently I can move my left arm, but not my hand. So I’ve lost all sense of independence,” Romano states on a video posted to his TikTok page.

On September 29th Romano was working inside the Sheridan Avenue homeless shelter in Albany when Mason,42, walked in, hoping to get some lunch. words were exchanged. Witnesses say Mason’s demeanor grew more aggressive and eventually he was asked to leave the shelter.

“A moment later, my boss starts screaming, Watch out!” and the guy comes out of the locker room and he’s got two swords in his hands,” Romano recalls.

It was a frightening moment Romano will never forget.

“I ran for my life literally,” he continues, “(Mason) catches me in the stairway, knocks me down, and I’m lying on the stairs, and I start trying to fight him off. I’m kicking him and he just starts swinging the swords and he’s chopping up my legs real bad and I’m still holding him off as they’re falling apart.”

At the time, Romano says he was fading in and out of consciousness.

“He’s reaching up, getting ready to go at it again. I reach up my arms and he just starts chopping away again and my arms start to basically fall apart. I’m trying to protect my head. I’m trying to protect my chest, and I don’t know why but he eventually stopped.”

Romano has more than 87,000 TikTok followers.

Randell Mason has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges. He’s been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.