Fil-Am teen who was in close proximity to the Santa Clarita shooter: “I’m extremely lucky” to be alive

SANTA CLARITA — Blue lights, messages of support, and a promise to be Saugus Strong.
Days after a student opened fire at Saugus High School, thousands gathered at Santa Clarita Central Park to remember Gracie Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell.
The two students killed last Thursday when a gunman opened fire on the campus of Saugus High School.
After Fil-Am student council president, Andrei Monica, led the pledge of allegiance, friends and family school and city officials took turns remembering the two victims on stage.
“The most important part of truly being #SaugusStrong is to grieve together through our tears, our hugs, our words of kindness, our remembrances of Gracie and Dominic… we will become stronger,” said Vincent Perry, Saugus High School Principal.
The Fangonil family was among the thousands gathered at Central Park.
“Just to support, look for support give support and we just want to make sure we help our community heal,” said Erwin Fangonil.
It was a meaningful moment for the family of five.
Mila had just dropped off her son, Gavin Fangonil, minutes before the gunman opened fire away from Gavin, a student and witness, who was standing ten feet away.
“I’m doing fine. Doing better than some of the other kids that I’ve seen. I was in complete shock when he fired the next few rounds; that’s when I started running, and all the adrenaline started pumping in. I feel that I’m extremely lucky and I’m happy to be here with my friends and family to this day.”
Gavin hasn’t been back to the school since Thursday, and his family is hoping that he can recover from the trauma of the shooting.
A motive for the attack has not been determined, but for the Fangonil family, only one thing matters.
“I’m just greatful that we’re together and that my son is home,” said his mom, Mila.
While most schools in the area resume classes on Monday, Saugus High will remain closed until December 2nd. But starting Tuesday the campus will allow students back on campus not only to pick up belongings but also to seek counseling if needed.
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