Colin says he's made a conscious decision to not be a victim. "[You have] the choice of what to do. Do you let this consume you? Do you think about this all day? I thought about the situation changing every single way," he says. "How I could have saved the day or how I could have been killed? And the sooner I accepted what happened, I could then move on and deal with it."
Though he was shot four times, Colin says he didn't feel any pain in the moment. "I felt numb throughout my entire body," he says. "Later I learned that when you're in a very stressful situation your body releases natural endorphins as a painkiller. So I felt the big force of air and a sharp sting, and then when I smelled the gunpowder, when I smelled the propellant and when I felt the blood trickle down my leg, that's when I came full circle with 'I just got shot.'"
Still, he often thinks about what he's been through. "Things bring it up," he says. "If I hear about another shooting, especially on the news, that's probably when it hits me the most. When I know there are other families now getting a phone call saying one of their family members has been shot."
Colin had to return for another year of school after the shooting, an obstacle he says was tough. He was rattled by loud noises or late students throwing doors open, he says. "But I knew that I was once comfortable there and I could return that way."