17th anniversary of fatal Santana High School shooting

SANTEE (KUSI) — They came to campus with tears in their eyes and shovels in their hands. The tears are still fresh for family and friends of the students shot and killed 17 years ago on March 5. The shovels have planted a “living tree memorial” near the site of the shooting in 2001.

“It helps me. It helps me to heal,” said Rachel Maurice. She was a 16-year-old student when the bullets started flying. She was not hit but is forever damaged by the trauma.

“Anytime I hear about another school shooting, I have flashbacks. It pushed me into my line of work. I work for the District Attorney helping victims of crime,” Maurice said.

Most of the students on campus Monday were not even born when the bullets started flying. But that isn’t stopping them from honoring the victims.

“It’s a symbol. Once we leave, we want people to remember,” said Josh Boyle with “The Act of Kindness Club” on campus.

Boyle and fellow club members planted a tree on campus Monday. It’s located near the site of the shooting that killed Randy Gordon and Brian Zuckor.

“This is not about gun laws and politics, this is about remembering them as people. We planted this tree as an act of kindness,” said club member Erica Reed.

The killer was a student named Andy Williams. He claimed he was bullied and lashed out with violence and murder. He’s in prison here in California and eligible for parole in the year 2050. He was 15 at the time of the murders.

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