Uncle of Central High School shooting victim shaken by shooting

Uncle of Central High School shooting victim reflects on Conn. school shooting

Posted:
I would ask other people that know these families to support them. Prayer, check on them, anything they need. Anything they can do to help these families, because they need people around them," Ryan's uncle, Roger McDonald, said. I would ask other people that know these families to support them. Prayer, check on them, anything they need. Anything they can do to help these families, because they need people around them," Ryan's uncle, Roger McDonald, said.
15-year-old Ryan McDonald was killed after a shooter opened fire in the cafeteria at Central High School. 15-year-old Ryan McDonald was killed after a shooter opened fire in the cafeteria at Central High School.
In Ryan's memory, McDonald collects toys for to benefit two local charities. In Ryan's memory, McDonald collects toys for to benefit two local charities.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The uncle of a student who was killed in a 2008 school shooting said Friday's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school has him shaken.

In August 2008, 15-year-old Ryan McDonald was killed after a shooter opened fire in the cafeteria at Central High School.

The shooter, Jamar Siler, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Ryan's uncle, Roger McDonald, says each time something like this happens, it reopens old wounds.

"It's hard sometimes to stay involved. Sometimes you just want to forget. You just want to move on with your life, you know. You feel like, you know, you keep rehashing it. But at the same time, you're staying involved, and making a difference," McDonald said.

McDonald says Friday's news has brought back painful memories.

"A hole in your heart. Kind of reopens it. You know, I know what we went through that day. And then when you hear something like this happening at a school, you kind of relive it. You try to get over it. But when you hear of news like this, it's very hard to not think about that shooting and all the stuff we went through that day," he said.

Staying busy has helped him cope with the loss of his nephew. Ryan was a client at Helen Ross McNabb and Child and Family of Tennessee, which is why the McDonalds chose those two organizations to support with the toy drive.

"We know that we are doing something to help some people, and the reason that we're doing it is to keep my nephew's name out there, or his legacy or however you want to say it. To make sure people don't forget Ryan McDonald and what happened four years ago," McDonald said.

He has some advice for the family and friends of Friday's victims.

"You don't really know what it's like until you go through it. All I could tell them is just to pray. And I would ask other people that know these families to support them. Prayer, check on them, anything they need. Anything they can do to help these families, because they need people around them," he said.

McDonald said these shootings were senseless acts and that the toy drive is his way of trying to make a positive from a negative.

If you'd like to donate a toy for the toy drive, you can do so at area Ingles stores through this Sunday.

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