WASHINGTON (7News) — This Friday, April 29, will mark one week since a gunman terrorized the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington D.C., injuring four people.
The sniper shot into Edmund Burke School, a college preparatory school for middle and high schoolers. A 12-year-old was shot and 300 students inside were traumatized.
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As everyone watched this unfold from the outside, 7News Alison Starling talked with a high school student who took us inside her terrifying ordeal. She told me her recovery is just beginning.
On April 22, Northwest D.C. was on lockdown and in panic mode as a sniper went on a rampage.
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They were life-threatening moments that many of us watched. But 16-year-old Sienna Manatos lived with them. You can clearly see her in this still frame of video recorded by the shooter himself.
"The target was on [us] and when it's on these other 6th graders at my school and it's on the security guard at my school," Manatos said. "It wasn't on the sidewalk, it wasn't at the street at Connecticut Avenue, it was my school."
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In the chaos, Manatos realized one of the sniper's bullets struck a 12-year-old right next to her.
"I was wearing a purple dress and a jean jacket and I took my jacket off and wrapped it around and held it there. There was a lot of blood. Like it wasn't just a superficial graze of a bullet, there was a lot of blood and she was super lucky that it wasn't worse," she said.
Manatos herself had small cuts on her arm.
For about an hour, the students and teachers hunkered down in the back of a theatre. Manatos shared this video with us of those moments. She was trying to comfort the younger kids.
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"They didn't understand what was going on and it was hard because we didn't want to tell them what was going on, but also at the same time when you're hearing the sound of a jackhammer over and over again -- louder than anything I've ever heard before -- it's scary," she said.
Now, Sienna is focused on healing and moving forward. What she calls her recovery -- getting help, spending time with loved ones and using her music as therapy.
Her world forever changed at such a young age.
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"When they're reporting it, they're like four victims," Manatos said. "But all 300 of us are victims. We all have to deal with that every time somebody brings up school, every time we hear a loud noise."
"I want to go back to school. I ultimately do. Because I don't want to let this guy win," she added.
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She's showing so much strength already.
Edmund Burke School is known for being progressive and inclusive. Manatos said the students and teachers are even closer now after this experience. They don't know when they will get back to class, as Sienna told me, the school remains a crime scene.
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