Former NFL player killed over a parking dispute
A former NFL player was killed over a parking dispute at Eaglecrest High School in Aurora, Colorado. According to CNN, Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham was shot by his neighbor over a parking dispute on Feb. 17, and he died at the hospital the next day.
Cunningham played for the University of Colorado and then was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 1996. He had been working as an assistant principal at Hinkley High School, which is also in Aurora.
The neighbors were texting about a parking dispute
Cunningham texted his neighbor, Marcus Johnson, hours before the shooting. The two were exchanging messages about an ongoing parking dispute. The men agreed to meet at Eaglecrest to settle the dispute.
Brother thought they would “box it out”
Cunningham’s brother said he accompanied his brother to the parking lot where he believed the two men would “box it out.” The men lived about a mile from the school.
Johnson called the police to confess shooting Cunningham
Court documents state the men walked toward each other in parking lot and were yelling curses at each other. Johnson claimed that Cunningham had a bottle. The court documents also state Johnson shot Cunningham three times in both the head and in the chest.
Johnson called the police to report that he had shot his neighbor. The police found a handgun in his car. The charges against him have been amended to first-degree murder charges. He is being held without bond.
Counselors are available at Hinkley High School throughout the week.
There were 94 school shootings in 2018
Though this incident took place while school was not in session, school shootings have become an almost daily part of life in the U.S. In 2018, the U.S. set a new record for school gun violence. According to the NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security, 94 school shooting incidents occurred in 2018.
Survivors often suffer from PTSD
For teachers and school administrators, that means every day has the potential to be deadly. And even if faculty is not injured in a shooting, the psychological effects are often lingering. Many victims of mass shootings report dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after surviving an attack.
People dealing with PTSD suffer from flashbacks and nightmares. They often experience feelings of anger, sadness and fear. Those with PTSD sometimes avoid certain situations or react strongly to loud noises or touch. They often have trouble sleeping.
Workers’ comp covers PTSD
In 2017, Colorado passed a law that allows employees to receive workers’ compensation benefits for psychologically traumatic events. Teachers and other Colorado workers who suffer PTSD from events they witnessed are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.