Saugus High School shooting survivor embraces gun-safety activism

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Friday, August 11, 2023
Saugus High School shooting survivor embraces gun-safety activism
A survivor of the 2019 Saugus High School shooting has turned her anger and sadness into action.

SAUGUS, Calif. (KABC) -- Mia Tretta has turned the worst day of her life into action, which has helped her heal and made a difference in the fight for gun safety.

"In 2019, I was shot in the stomach and my best friend was killed by a boy we didn't know - another Saugus High School student," she said. "After that, I kind of realized I can sit at home and be sad about it, or I can take that anger and take that sadness into advocacy work."

Some of that work has taken place at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, the Mission Hills hospital where she was treated. Tretta has formed a bond with Dr. Bernie Klein, the hospital's chief executive and the two have worked on safe-storage advocacy and "Stop the Bleed" trainings to help community members learn how they can save lives.

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Mia Tretta, one of the students wounded in the 2019 shooting at Saugus High School, helped organize a student walkout and delivered an emotional plea for gun control.

"Making sure people understand the real risk that is involved whenever you bring a gun into a home, especially if you have children," Tretta said. "It doesn't matter if you own a gun. What matters is that you're buying it responsibility and that you're storing it responsibly and making sure it doesn't end up in someone else's hands, and that you aren't using it for harm."

"Putting my time and energy along with Mia's into this cause - it helps make a helpless situation change to something where we feel we can make a difference," Klein said.

Tretta has also worked with Los Angeles County schools to establish a threat assessment program and has worked to bring attention to ghost guns. Tretta was shot by a ghost gun.

"The only way that gun violence prevention or any social justice movement is going to change is with partnerships," Tretta saids.

Tretta graduated from Saugus High School this year and will attend Brown University, where she plans to study education and public policy or public health.

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Saugus High School shooting survivor Mia Tretta spoke at the White House and praised the Biden administration for cracking down on ghost guns.