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Columbine principal speaks at Chardon

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CHARDON, Ohio - Next week will mark two years since the horrific shootings at Chardon high school.

Nearly 200 people packed into the banquet hall of St. Mary's church in Chardon Wednesday night, to listen to the principal of Columbine High School.

Frank DeAngelis established a relationship with Chardon school administrators immediately following the February 27th 2012 school shooting which claimed the lives of three students.

At Columbine in 1999, DeAngelis lost 12 students and one teacher.

"Our community is stronger today than it was 15 years ago. Was it easy? I can tell you there will be trials and tribulations but I can tell you are not in this alone," says DeAngelis.

Residents told me tonight they've been able to get through this tragedy because of the outpouring of support from other communities.

Chardon school superintendent, Michael Hanlon, says DeAngelis offered support from the start.

"The district has focused on a number of healing efforts and working very closely with the community as well as bringing in outside resources like Mr. DeAngelis and a variety of outside counseling services that our students, staff and community have benefited from in terms of an overall healing process," says Hanlon.

DeAnglelis says over the years he has suffered from survivor's guilt but has been able to overcome the columbine tragedy through his Christian faith and through counseling.

He talked in detail about the day of the shooting.

"The teacher that was with me was surprised I survived because I ran right into the gunfire. It was at that moment I thought what will it be like to die? Will it be quickly? I thought of my two kids and my wife and my mom and dad and I would never see them again."

DeAngelis says he will retire as Columbine High School principal this year.

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