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Recent mass shooting reminds Las Vegas locals of 1 October

1 October healing garden
Posted at 4:49 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 09:34:43-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — News of another mass shooting brings memories and new pains for people affected by the 1 October massacre.

"My heart just breaks," Mynda Smith said. "I understand what they're going through. I understand their pain."

The Texas school shooting brings back a painful loss for Mynda Smith. As a parent, news of 19 elementary school children killed hits close to home.

"For them to be children, it's something that no parent should ever have to go through,” she said.

For her, seeing the devastated families brings back memories of 1 October. Smith lost her sister, Neysa Tonks, that day. Smith says she had to step away from the headlines of Tuesday’s mass shooting.

"I actually have to turn it off because it's too much for me to take," she said. "It's too much for my heart."

That heartache led to phone calls to her family.

"Obviously, the first was my girls. Just because I know they know my pain, and I wanted to make sure they were OK as well,” she said.

MORE: Vegas Strong Resiliency Center offers support amid Texas elementary school shooting

The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center has seen an uptick in calls with the news of recent mass shootings. The center's director, Tennille Pereira, says she's not surprised.

"It also evokes feelings of sadness and compassion for the community that is now going to go through that,” Pereira said.

The compassion connects Smith with other families affected by similar tragedies. She has this advice for any survivor who may be watching:

"Make sure you're not alone. Make sure you have a support system and limit your intake of this and make sure it's not harmful to you,” she said.