Jon Romano, who is currently serving a 17-year jail sentence for planning and partially executing a non-fatal school shooting in 2004, has written a letter in support of the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
When Romano was 16-years-old, he was subdued by a teacher after brandishing a shotgun inside of Colombia High School in Albany, New York. Romano fired three shots, one of which hit a teacher in the leg. After the school shooting he carried out was mentioned in a column published after the Parkland shooting, Romano penned a letter to Times Union Executive Editor Rex Smith, calling for a change to gun laws.
“First, John Sawchuk [the teacher who subdued Romano] is a hero who I owe my life to. I know that every time another horrible shooting happens, he and all of my victims are hurt all over again by what I did to them,” wrote Romano. “I want to take away their pain, but knowing I cannot, I want to prevent others from experiencing this pain. I have taken the steps toward this that I can do from prison.”
After apologizing, Romano went on to call the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the location of the Parkland shooting, “courageous and inspiring.” He praised the manner in which they demanded politicians hold themselves accountable for not enacting gun reforms in the wake of the shooting and implored others to “accept nothing less than meaningful, life-saving policy changes from their representatives.”
Romano wrote that upon his release in 2021, he plans to become an advocate for gun safety and mental health reform.