'In Memoriam': New documentary features survivors recounting horrors of three of US's worst mass shootings

'In Memoriam': New documentary features survivors recounting horrors of three of US's worst mass shootings
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They say that time heals all wounds but that may not always be true.  Offering a living spectacle to that sentiment, the survivors and relatives of victims of America's three different shootings speak out about the unbearable trauma and pain in 'Investigation Discovery's' new documentary titled 'In Memoriam'.

The series looks at the stories of those affected by the horrific attacks at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Music Festival (2017), the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church in Texas (2017), and at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (2018).

Survivor Paige Melanson who had attended the Harvest Music Festival along with her mother and sister recalls the devastating experience. Paige had shrapnel in her arm while the girls' mother had been shot in the chest.

None of the concert attendees initially believed that the gunshot sounds were bullets. "We thought wow it's outside, are they going to a fireworks show as this is going? How cool. I think that was the thought process of everyone and obviously that quickly changed," Melanson shared.  Her twin sisters Natalia and Giana Baca were present at the gig as well. They said, "We were dancing and singing when we heard what sounded like a firework. I was like 'maybe it's some stupid kids doing fireworks or firecrackers."


Her sister Stephanie had bought their mother a ticket for the show. At around 10 pm at night, a gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock targeted the crowd at the concert and started to shoot. The gunman was sitting on a high up floor on the Mandalay Bay hotel in Vegas when the incident took place. The shooter was later found dead in his room with a self-inflicted gun wound. 

A similar attack happened at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church as well in 2017.

Julie Workman, who was one of those present at the church at that time said, "We realized that there was someone shooting from the back of the church and at this point, I got down on my knees and tried to have the back of the pew protect me."

The shooter then changed his position and started shooting from the outside. "That's when I heard one of the girls say that she'd been shot and at that point, we realized that this is real," she added. 

The shooting saw twenty-six casualties and as many as 20 people were injured. The shooter, who was identified as Devin Patrick Kelley was chased down and injured by a local resident as he tried to speed away in his car. Kelley died from the injuries in addition to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 


Similarly, Kyle Laman, a student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida was shot in the leg during the shooting in 2018. "We were stuck in the hallway and then all of a sudden there's screaming. You have these butterflies in your stomach. You really don't know what to do when you are staring in the eyes of a gun and a crazy man. I looked into the eyes of death," Laman shared. 

The shooting at the high school claimed the lives of 17 students and teachers while 17 others were left injured. Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student of the school was identified as the shooter by eyewitnesses.

Cruz was arrested blocks away from the school and has been jailed ever since. His death-penalty trial is due to start in the summer of 2020.

The documentary features survivors from across the shootings, sharing their common disbelief on realising that it was a shooting in the first place.

The shootings may now be an incident of the past but the pain, horror, grief, and fear continues to haunt those who bore witness to them.


The series unravels that the trauma and pain of losing loved ones will never heal.

'In Memoriam' shows viewers feeling exactly that as it retraces the horrific events and the aftermath.       



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