‘Never forget that day’: Victims share how the Freeman High School shooting haunts them, ask for maximum sentencing

SPOKANE, Wash. — A judge heard victim impact statements on Monday from dozens of people who still live with lingering trauma from the 2017 Freeman High School shooting. The shooting killed one teen and left three others hurt.

Caleb Sharpe pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and other charges earlier this month. The judge is taking these victim impact statements into consideration when determining the final sentence.

Victim advocates read most of the statements from students, teachers, staff, grandparents and parents who relived that fateful day — Sept. 13, 2017.

“I will never forget that day,” said one victim.

“I think about how Sam was loved and how deeply he is missed by his friends and family to this day,” a teacher added.

Sam Strahan lost his life during the shooting. His murder devastated the Freeman community and left everyone in a constant state of fear they still feel today.

“Congratulations, Caleb. You have made people fear for their safety in some way, shape or form for the rest of their lives,” another victim shared.

Everyone who shared their story wants Sharpe to receive the maximum sentence. They said they’ll never find true peace but closure on his fate will help them continue to heal.

“I think Caleb deserves the maximum sentence because people who have the will to walk into a school, which is supposed to be a safe setting, and commit murder in cold blood, should never walk the streets again among us,” a victim advocate read from a statement.

Everyone says they look at life through a new lens, one blurred with horror they can’t escape.

“I can no longer listen to music through earbuds in public or around crowds. I am constantly looking over my shoulder and have my guard up,” a student said.

The Freeman community is frustrated by how long the process has taken. They want justice served to the highest extent and hope the legal system doesn’t fail a community that’s already lost so much.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” said one parent.

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