VIDEO: Sandy Hook parents release chilling PSA ahead of 5-year anniversary

Sandy Hook Promise
Published:

By JENNIFER EARL

A video depicting a local news broadcast about a school shooting that has yet to occur is the latest public service announcement created by Sandy Hook Promise to help bring awareness to the warning signs often displayed by people who are at risk of hurting themselves or others.

In the minute-long video, which was released just days before the fifth anniversary of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a reporter interviews people about "tomorrow's shooting" involving a 15-year-old boy who kills four students and two adults before committing suicide.

Classmates, teachers and parents all reveal warning signs, including bullying, social media threats and suspicious comments made by the shooter that should have alerted them that something was wrong.

"He told some of us that his dad kept a gun in his closet and he always talked about using it on, you know, the people that bullied him. Tomorrow, I'll probably say that I wish I told someone," one of the classmates tells the reporter in the video.

"Tomorrow, I'll probably point out that something has seemed off with him since the beginning of the school year," the boy's teacher says.

"Well, someone is expected to tell us after the shooting that the shooter has posted on social media about doing this for weeks," a detective says.

The correspondent ends the report after speaking with a witness, who says her young daughter will be killed in the shooting.

"This is Christine Lin, reporting from another shooting we'll say we never saw coming," the reporter signs off from the scene.

Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization made up of parents, schools and community organizations to deliver gun violence prevention programs, produced the PSA which was released Monday.

"You can stop tomorrow's shootings if you recognize the warning signs today," the group says at the end of the short video.

The video's message is similar to the viral PSA the group shared last year, in which a red-haired boy named Evan searches for a mystery girl at his high school. As the pair finally meet in the school gymnasium toward the end of the video, an armed classmate in steps in and cocks an assault rifle as dozens of students flee, screaming.

"While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting. But no one noticed," Sandy Hook Promise captioned the video.

The scenario in the ad then replays in slow motion — this time, focusing on a troubled student in the background who's reading a magazine about guns, refusing to interact with a fellow student, getting bullied by his locker, researching guns on the internet and posing with a weapon in a selfie posted on Instagram.

More than 10 million people have watched the powerful PSA since it was released on the organization's YouTube channel on Dec. 2, 2016. Many viewers praised the group for bringing awareness to a serious issue.

"This is excellent. I was shocked at the end of the video," one Facebook user admitted. "It's a cautionary tale about how much we miss if we aren't looking for the signs. (And I'm a teacher!)"

"Thank you for your tireless work to educate. From tragedy comes good," another commenter wrote. "Hopefully this will help prevent even one more death."