Student continues to recover 1 year after North Park Elementary School shooting on campus

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It was a scene of chaos and panic a year ago as parents flooded streets surrounding North Park Elementary school desperate to find their children in the aftermath of a shooting. (KABC)

It was a scene of chaos and panic a year ago as parents flooded streets surrounding North Park Elementary school desperate to find their children in the aftermath of a shooting.

It's a day Rachel Brandy will always remember.

"I was watching TV and I saw a news break and that's when I found out. I immediately started crying," she said.

At 10:30 a.m. last April, 53-year-old Cedric Anderson entered the school and went to his estranged wife Karen Smith's classroom and opened fire.

The shooting left Smith and a student, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, dead. Brandy's 9-year-old son, Nolan was also hit in the gunfire.

"I found out in the gym with everyone that he had been injured, and we needed to get to the hospital," Brandy said.

Nolan survived, but while his physical wounds have healed, Brandy said he carries invisible ones.

"He is frightened of a lot of things," she said. "He is fearful of noises so he has PTSD."

Nolan returned to North Park Elementary School in August and started fifth grade.

"He had support and so I felt that support was better than going to another school and meeting new people and having him acclimate to a new situation," Brandy said.

The now 10-year-old attends weekly therapy sessions to help him deal with the shooting aftermath.

It's been a year of ups and downs for the family, with a mix of gratitude and sadness.

"I'm thankful that my son is here, but I'm sad that this boy is not. It just seems so - it should not have happened that way, but we pray for them," Brandy said.

Brandy will speak at a memorial service for the victims at Sandals Church in San Bernardino Tuesday night. She said she wants to share her message of hope and gratitude with the community.

"I just want people to see that you know after a terrible tragedy life can move forward. It is not easy but you take one step each day and make progress," she said.
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