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Experts weigh in on mental health effects after Killeen Mall shooting

Posted at 9:26 AM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 10:26:11-05

KILLEEN, Texas — Many are still in shock, after a shooter opened fire at the Killeen Mall, Tuesday night.

Lindsey Antolik was getting a massage at a store inside at the time, completely unaware of the danger.

“Me and the massage person we’re just there, no one ever told us. We had no idea what was going on,” said Antolik.

As several police officers swarmed the shopping center, she thought a store was being robbed. Five minutes after she left a friend called and told her it was much worse.

“I was actually pretty shaky and my heart was racing the rest of the night,” said Antolik.

Even though Lindsey didn’t hear the gunshots, knowing how close she was is traumatizing.

“I still had shopping to do and I went to Temple instead. I just know I couldn’t go to the Killeen Mall,” said Antolik.

“There’s shock, there’s sorrow, numbness, disbelief, anxiety,” said Misty Biddick with Aware Central Texas

Biddick said it’s common for witnesses to feel a range of emotions, after a potentially violent situation.

“Not bottling up and honoring the fact that they’re going through this and saying the words out loud and it goes a long way,” said Biddick.

Family and friends close to the witnesses can also feel PTSD from the shooting.

Biddick said if it starts affecting your day-to-day life, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

KPD officials say officers who responded to any shooting are given peer counseling and counseling with a psychiatrist.

If you are experiencing mental health problems please speak out and ask for help.