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Omahans remember 5-year shooting anniversary...

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 11:22:40-05

Five years ago on Tuesday, all of Omaha was saddened and in shock over what had happened in the office of Millard South High School.

An angry student, who had just been suspended returned to school and opened fire. Robert Butler Jr. murdered an assistant principal and critically injured the head principal then killed himself.

On this anniversary, those affected talked about their fears and how they have overcome them in years since.

"It was just loud really chaotic with all the sirens and everything going on," said Dina Kaluza mother of one of the students inside Millard South.

Kaluza rushed from work at Scripps to the school, "We didn't really know what was going on".

She tried to text to see if her daughter was okay.

"I told her to be quiet and that I loved her because I didn't know what was going on, it was really upsetting and it was hard to get a hold of her," said Kaluza.

Also inside was then senior Kyler Erickson. He was in the office when the gunman shot and killed assistant principal Vicki Kaspar and wounded principal Curtis Case.

"During the lockdown is was more of just survival mode, it was how can I help myself and help those around me," said Erickson.

It's a moment he would rather focus on the future. Erickson said he suffered from PTSD following the shooting. He went through treatments and made a video to inspire others to not be afraid to talk about mental illness.

"To give my story out to help people who are struggling just like me," said Erickson.

Erickson is now a star basketball player at UNO and uses this tragedy as a teaching moment, "What can we learn from it and what positive things can come from that."

"It was the most challenging and frustrating thing that had happened," said then mayor Jim Suttle.

Suttle said during this dark moment, the light was the community, "The aftermath of the shooting at Millard South you saw beginning to come out as people were coming out wondering what to do to help".

The Millard School District did not wish to go on the camera for this story however it id issue a statement:

"Today was a normal day of learning for students at Millard South. For staff, this was a day to remember a wonderful friend. Vicky Kaspar lived her life full of hope for her family, her school and the many students she guided towards a bright future. Her legacy lives on through her colleagues that mirror her example of optimistic leadership.

 

Three years ago the Millard community recognized the security challenges faced by schools across the nation and stepped up with strong support for the district with an eighty million dollar bond. That bond has secured exterior doors with controlled entries for all schools and provided for remodels of the interiors of several open-concept schools."