Unfortunately, Eric Decker knows exactly how the students of Arapahoe High School are feeling right now.
The Denver Broncos receiver recorded a video message to the teenagers of the Colorado school, who were the victims of a tragic shooting that occurred on Friday, Dec. 13.
"You never imagine being in that situation," the E! star said in the video. "But through tough times like this, you've got to stick together—be it a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen or a person to be able to hug if there's ever a grieving moment. And understand that everyone grieves at different paces."
However, in 2003, Decker was in that situation, when two of his friends were gunned down during a shooting at his high school in Minnesota.
"We didn't know what to think," Decker, who hid for 45 minutes in a library closet of Rocori High School during the tragedy, recalled to The Denver Post. "Every girl was crying, every guy was trying to stay calm, and when they came and got us, we had to go across the street to the elementary school with our hands up. You see snipers on the top of the buildings, it's just surreal. That moment, you'll never forget. It changes your life in a second."
The star athlete's video message, where he spoke of uniting and persevering during the grieving process, was shown at an assembly, in the cafeteria and on the school's website.
"Don't ball your emotions, don't keep things inside. Talk about it and try to learn from a hard situation like this. Through tragedy, you really test and find out what your character is, who you are and the people around you. I just ask you to stay strong, do better and be good people," he says in the clip.
Claire Davis, a 17-year-old student, was critically wounded by fellow senior and 18-year-old gunman Karl Pierson, who killed himself in the library at the Colorado public school after injuring his classmate. Sadly, Davis succumbed to her injuries and died just a few days before Christmas.