LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After nearly losing her life, one 17-year-old Kentuckian is speaking out about her experience with gun violence.

What You Need To Know

  • On June 7, Victoria Gwynn was shot after a gunman opened fire at Ballard Park 

  • The Gwynn family is no stranger to gun violence, having lost their son Chrsitian to a drive-by shooting in December 2019

  • Victoria was treated at UofL Health and is still receiving follow up care

  • Future Healers program helps children build a better future 

June 7 is a day that Victoria Gwynn will never forget.

“It was really just like a normal day for me. I went to work, got off work to go see a friend, just to spend time with that friend and not even 40 minutes of me being with that friend, it's like my whole world turned upside down,” Victoria said.

Victoria and her friend DaJuan Coward were in Louisville's Ballard Park when a gunman opened fire. Nearly 200 rounds were fired, one hitting Victoria’s leg, requiring a metal rod and another hitting Coward, a 17-year-old boy who later died from his injuries.

The Gwynn family is unfortunately no stranger to gun violence, losing their son Christian in a drive-by shooting back in December 2019.

Krista Gwynn said she remembers the text from her daughter on the day of the shooting word for word.

“My husband lost his mind, the last time we heard those words was when someone called my phone and told me my son was shot and I needed to get to him," Krista said. "It's just heartbreaking that my husband now is so scared when we leave the home that he's constantly on the phone and he facetimes us."

As a survivor of gun violence, Victoria believes sharing her story is important.

“When I first started my recovery, at first I wanted to give up but something in me was telling me to just you got this, you can do it, your brother has your back, DaJuan has your back,” she said.

After hearing about the Future Healers program, an initiative helping children build a better future organized by Christopher 2X Game Changers, UofL Hospital Trauma Institute and UofL medical students, Gwynn was inspired to help others who have gone through similar experiences.

“Every one of our patients has a family around them. That family is experiencing much of what that patient is, that family has needs, that family may be an opportunity where some earlier preventable measures may be successful,” Dr. Keith Miller, trauma surgeon at U of L Health said.

Victoria will serve as a mentor to other children and teens who have been impacted by gun violence, one of them being her sister.

“She's scared too, and I want to give her some type of hope that nothing's going to happen to her, like I'm going to put her in a good position so that she doesn't have to worry about that. I want everything to follow through and I want to see a change, I hate when I hear a little kid has been shot or a teenager like myself has been shot and killed and it's all over nothing, it's ridiculous,” Victoria said.

Victoria was treated at UofL Health and is still receiving follow up care.