South Floridians discuss personal connection to Connecticut shooting tragedy

Shooting impacting people far and wide

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The impact of the deadly shooting is being felt far and wide. Connecticut transplants, now living in South Florida are grappling with the images flashing on television screens all day and night Friday. Hundreds miles from the Sunshine State, the tragedy in Connecticut is still unraveling.

Karryn Bigelow, 21, was not supposed to be waiting tables Friday night. But she decided to pick up a shift at West Palm Beach's Tin Fish restaurant.

"I've been going to the back a little bit if I get emotional, but staying busy, it kind of helps," she said. Bigelow is trying to keep her mind off what much of the nation saw unfolding on TV. The images even flash upon the screen over Bigelow's tables. "It hits really close to home, you know?"

Too close to home, she says. Bigelow grew up just minutes from Newtown, Connecticut. She has personal connections to those touched by tragedy. She is sad, angry and full of questions. "What kind of a person looks at a little child and says they want to kill them?," she asked. "This is like five to ten year olds we're talking about."

Bigelow is heartbroken about the kids who were taken from this world too soon. "So many young minds that could have benefited the world," she said. "You never know what they could have been. They're gone."

She is also worried about the kids at Sandy Hook Elementary who survived. Along with working for tips, Bigelow is also a sophomore at Palm Beach Atlantic University, working toward a degree in Special Education Psychology. She wants to help kids, like the young witnesses to Friday's shooting.

"I didn't feel like people cared enough about the kids in those school systems and I wanted to be someone that cared about them," she said.

Hundreds of miles from her hometown, she is working through the hurt the best that she can. Bigelow intends to earn her degree in Florida and use the degree back home in Connecticut.

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