John Gately (JG) and Sean Fitzpatrick (SF)
JG: I remember getting to the school, someone telling me your name was Sean, and calling your name, “Sean.”
SF: I remember seeing you and thinking don’t trust anything he says. I believe you asked me at one point, “Why you have the gun here?”
JG: Every time you played with that gun, holding the gun upside down, twirling the gun — it made me very nervous.
JG: And then a little bit later you threw a paper airplane out at us. And for me, when you did that, it brought back that I was actually talking to a 16-year-old kid. So, what can I do to try to bring you back from the edge? And I remember that I told you, “Listen, I’ll send everybody else away and you and I can just sit here and bullshit.”
SF: That really resonated with me. It was so real.
JG: When you and I were talking, you heard the officers changing positions, and the intensity went up, telling you, “We’re just gonna sit here and talk. Everything is perfectly fine.” And you pulled the gun out and pointed it. And that’s when the officers fired.
SF: Three bullets hit me. Once in the arm, once in the stomach, and once in the face.
JG: I jumped over to get to you to tell you, “Don’t give up. You can survive what has happened.” And I was doing that as the officer was reaching down, pulling your teeth and clearing your airway. And then two of the other officers pulled me out of there.
SF: When I was being wheeled to the hospital, wha, what was your feeling about the whole situation?
JG: Anger. Anger that I wasn’t able to pull you back from the ledge, ‘cuz that is my job, to make sure everybody goes home safe.
SF: I’m sorry that it fell on your shoulders.
JG: Well thank you for that. I didn’t take it personal as you doing it to me. How are you doing sitting here talking to me about it?
SF: I guess it will always be a little bit hard for me. I don’t think that will ever change.
JG: But it’s getting better.
SF: It is. Who I was back then and who I am now are two different people entirely.
JG: I’m glad you’re alive and that’s why I reached out to you, to see where you’re at.