Metro Atlanta mass shooting survivor still remembers it like it was yesterday

As investigators continue to search for the suspect in the Maine mass shooting, Channel 2 Action News spoke exclusively to a local survivor of a mass shooting.

Nell Jones survived the 1999 Piedmont Center shooting that left nine people dead and several more injured.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was in Buckhead Thursday, where that survivor said she still deals with PTSD to this day.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Jones said she will never forget what happened to her 24 years ago. She said she can still remember hearing gunshots and playing dead in order to survive.

In July 1999, a 44-year-old man walked inside a Buckhead office building and killed nine people before turning the gun on himself.

Jones was inside that building and came face-to-face with the killer.


“When the gun is pointed at you, all you think about is, ‘What do I have to do to survive?’” Jones said.

Jones said she pretended to be dead in order to survive.

“My head was no more than ten feet from his head. We were very close,” Jones said. “The bullet went right past my forehead.”

Jones is now reliving those difficult memories again after a man shot and killed more than a dozen people in Maine Wednesday.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

In May, we told you about the moment a shooter opened fire inside the Northside Medical Center in Midtown. Five people were shot and one was killed.

Several survived without injuries, including 102-year-old Clara Bridges.

“I said, ‘In the name of God, I can’t die. I cannot leave my children,’” Bridges told Washington

Jones said it’s important for survivors to properly deal with the unimaginable trauma.

“Psychological counseling is very, very important,” Jones sad.

Jones said therapy is still helping her process what she went through all these years later.