A New York man who was released from prison in 2020 for a high school shooting has needed to have multiple limbs reattached following a sword attack.
Jon Romano, 34, was 16 years old when he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a shooting at a school in East Greenbush, New York, and was working at a homeless shelter in Albany following his release, according to Times Union.
Romano was working at a homeless shelter called the Community Connections Drop-In Center when he was attacked by a man with a sword on 29 August, requiring urgent treatment to reattach several limbs. He also suffered serious leg and head injuries.
Speaking in a series of TikTok videos from his hospital bed, Romano said he was asking himself why he was “still alive” following the attack at the homeless shelter.
Romano said the attack came after he confronted a man for using derogatory language towards him, and that the suspect had “become animated” and was talking to himself about “white devils” before launching at him with a sword.
“We’re like chill out bro, you just gotta eat your lunch, and you know, he starts talking aggressively,” said Romano, whose boss agreed to tell the man to leave the shelter after finishing his lunch.
“The guy comes running right at me screaming ‘f****ng white devil.’ And you know, I run, ha. I run for my life literally,” Romano said of the attack in the video.
“He just starts swinging the swords, and he’s chopping up my legs real bad and I’m still holding them up even as they’re falling apart,” Romano continued in the video.
Speaking in another TikTok, the homeless shelter employee said he had regained some movement in his limbs since the attack but that he was feeling a sense of loss.
“I’ve lost all independence. I’m just lying here in a bed 24/7,” he said, while adding: “We’re still going to push forward, we’re still going to talk about reforms and doing good”.
Romano has advocated for school safety and better mental health support for school children and teenagers since his release from prison. In 2004, he brought a shotgun to Columbia High School in East Greenbush and wounded a teacher in the attack before being disarmed.
The suspect in the sword attack is due in court next month, according to the Times Union.
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