JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Joni Askew says her right leg no longer bears the scars of the floor tile that bounced up and injured her on Oct. 1, 1997 from bullets hitting the floor in the commons area of Pearl High School from sophomore Luke Woodham's rifle.
Askew, a freshman at the time, and her then-boyfriend tried to run from Woodham, but she fell.
"He came back around, just stood over us a second, said some words, pulled the trigger on the gun. The gun did not go off. They found out during the trial there was something lodged in the gun. It would not have fired again," Askew said.
A short time later, Woodham was stopped outside the school by then-assistant principal Joel Myrick, who had kept a Colt .45 in his car.
"My pistol was in there, an automatic pistol. I pulled the lever back, started running," Myrick told an NBC reporter at the time.
Myrick didn't need to use it. Woodham was arrested, then tried for the murders of two students and his mother and the assault of many more. He's now serving life in prison.
Askew says the Connecticut shootings resurrect old fears, but even after her ordeal, she was glad to go back to school. Askew considered schools safe then, and she still does.
"It's just the world is not safe. We're living in a place that's evil. There's evil out there, you just have to be careful, do the best you can," Askew said.Askew does not believe an assault weapons ban will do any good.
"I feel, if you want a gun you're gonna get a gun. Illegal, not illegal, it's not gonna matter. They want to harm somebody, they're gonna find a way to do it," she tells us. "My heart just goes out to those parents dealing with the loss (in Connecticut), the families dealing with the loss of those teachers. It sounds like they did everything they knew to do to protect those babies, there just was no way around it."