SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — It was an emotional event in San Bernardino Saturday night to honor victims and survivors of the terrorist attack 17 months ago at a charity head-dress ball.
It comes as the city reels from yet another deadly attack.
Julie Swann Paez wore a 15-pound head-dress but this San Bernardino terrorist attack survivor feels all the weight in her heart.
“It’s umm okay it’s really nice that they offered to do this,” Paez said. “They’ve been an important part of this last year for me.”
Julie Swann Paez is talking about Lieutenant Mike Madden, a first responder to the shooting and chief Jarrod Burguan. The two escorted her on stage at San Bernardino’s charity head-dress ball prompting a standing ovation.
“We’ll do anything to support Julie and support all those victim’s from December 2nd,” Burguan said.
The chief and Paez have grown close since 2015’s horrific mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center. Paez was struck twice in the pelvis and spent weeks in the hospital. Her recovery will be life long.
“The truth is I’m never going to be pain free so I’m not going to let the pain stop me from doing things that I enjoy.”
Meanwhile chief Burguan is coping with the second deadly attack to throw him in the national spotlight. It’s been less than two weeks since the murder-suicide at San Bernardino’s North Park Elementary School.
Teacher Karen Smith and student Jonathan Martinez were killed. Student Nolan Brandy was seriously injured.
It’s a fresh wound for a city forced again to prove its resilience.
Something it couldn’t do alone.
“Anytime we’ve seen these tragedies there’s an enormous outpouring of support from people around this country around the world for that matter, people who really care and want to part of the solution,” Burguan said.