"Sometimes it's like a blessing in disguise," says Kendal, now 14. "Like, everyone's saying I've built a stronger faith."
But it's come at a price she's still paying. Now an 8th grader at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico, Kendal was lingering in the gymnasium with other students before the first bell on Jan. 14, 2014, when gunfire silenced their chatter.
The second and third round of exploding shotgun shells fired by fellow student Mason Campbell, then 12, hit Kendal and Nathaniel Tavarez, then also 12, with hundreds of BB-sized lead pellets. Both still carry those pellets in their bodies and struggle with the aftereffects.
Mason was sentenced to juvenile detention lasting no longer than his 21st birthday after pleading no contest to three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a deadly firearm on school premises. He randomly fired after writing in a journal that he'd been a victim of school bullying.
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