TV Reporter Recalls Own School Shooting Experience at Nashville Scene


A local TV reporter covering a school shooting in Nashville Monday made an incredible admission while live on the scene: “Many of you might not know this, but I am actually a school shooting survivor.”

Joylyn Bukovac, a reporter for WSMV-4 in Nashville, said Monday’s incident brought back horrible memories of her own experience, which happened while she was in eighth grade.

She did not disclose the exact incident but mentioned a date on Twitter—Feb. 5, 2010—which corresponds to a shooting at Discovery Middle School in Madison, Alabama, in which one student died.

In a segment Monday afternoon from the station’s studio, she said that covering the shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School, in which six people have died so far, brought the memories of that day “flooding back.”

She added that she was in the school’s hallway when gunshots rang out.

“I hid underneath the risers in my choir class and those minutes and hours of waiting to be released by police officers, it just felt like a lifetime … And so I know exactly what some of these kids are going through today,” she said.

Three children and three adults were killed at the private Christian school Monday when a woman who police have identified as Audrey Hale, 28, stormed the building by shooting through a locked door to gain entry. Police said she had detailed maps drawn up of the school and a “manifesto.” She was also reportedly a former student of the school.

Earlier in the day during a live shot from the scene, Bukovac shared her advice for parents, especially those of the Covenant students, who want to talk to their children about what happened.

“My biggest advice is for all the families here: If your student witnessed the unthinkable today, just be very gentle with them. Let them talk when they’re ready, because the shock that they’re going to be feeling when they’re coming home is going to be unfathomable,” she said.

“I wasn’t really ready to talk about it for two years, really,” she continued. “So just give them some time. If they’re not ready to talk, don’t be overly concerned. Everyone copes in their own way, so just really be there for them and open up that line of communication.”

Bukovac later tweeted that she appreciated all of the words of support she’d received throughout the day, and said the fact that she is now a mom made the entire experience even more heartrending.

Reporting on a school shooting as a school shooting survivor, and now as a mom, has been indescribably heart breaking," she said. “Something needs to change."

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