Florida school shooting survivor on Donald Trump: 'I have never been so unimpressed by a person in my life'

'He didn’t make me feel better in the slightest,' Samantha Fuentes says

Emily Shugerman
New York
Friday 23 February 2018 22:26 GMT
Florida school shooting survivor Samantha Fuentes says she was unimpressed by Donald Trump's phone call
Florida school shooting survivor Samantha Fuentes says she was unimpressed by Donald Trump's phone call (Inside Edition)

A survivor of the Florida high school shooting says she has “never been so unimpressed by a person in my life” than when President Donald Trump called her in the hospital.

Samantha Fuentes, an 18-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was hospitalised last week after a shooter opened fire on the school, killing 17 students and staff members. Ms Fuentes was shot in both legs and hit in the face with shrapnel. She was recovering at a local hospital when Mr Trump called to offer his condolences.

“He said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours too’," Ms Fuentes told the New York Times of the conversation. "I’m pretty sure he made that up,”

She added: “Talking to the president, I’ve never been so unimpressed by a person in my life. He didn’t make me feel better in the slightest.”

The president, Ms Fuentes said, called the shooter a “sick puppy” and said “‘oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,’ like, seven times.”

Leaving the hospital a week after the shooting, Ms Fuentes still had multiple stitches in her cheek and forehead and a bruise around one eye – the result of a piece of shrapnel that lodged itself in her head during the shooting, she told Inside Edition. Doctors may have to leave the shrapnel in place, as removal can be dangerous.

"Just one variable change and I could have easily died,” Ms Fuentes said.

Many of the teenager’s classmates have been outspoken about the need for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting. Some have also hit out at the president directly, accusing him of inaction on the issue.

“'You're the president. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us,” student David Hogg tweeted.

Donald Trump says teacher could have 'shot the hell out of' Florida school shooter

Mr Trump travelled to the town where the shooting took place this week. He visited with victims recovering in the hospital and met with police and sheriff's department officers who responded to the scene. He told the officers about a female victim he met who had been shot four times, and praised the victim’s families, saying they were “really great shape” given the circumstances.

The president later hosted a listening session at the White House with survivors of school shootings. After hearing survivors' concerns, he suggested raising the minimum age for assault rifle purchases and expanding background checks. He also floated the controversial idea of arming educators to deter future shooters.

In his hand, he held a notecard bearing a reminder to say, "I hear you".

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