'Thankful to be alive': Apex native Drew Pescaro recalls UNCC shooting, talks survivor's guilt

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Saturday, June 1, 2019
'Thankful to be alive': Apex native recovering after UNCC shooting
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Drew Pescaro is one of a handful of UNC-Charlotte students who was injured last month during a campus shooting. Now, he says, he knows he is lucky to be alive.

Drew Pescaro says walking around can be exhausting. He's working on building up his endurance.

The 19-year-old moves around with a surgical drain by his side.

Friday, for the first time, he removed a bandage to see his wound.

He says he's lucky to be alive.

"I just remember I heard the first shot and then pretty much everything went deaf after that," he said.

Pescaro is one of a handful of UNC-Charlotte students who was injured last month during the campus shooting.

He has spent the better part of the last month bedridden and has undergone several surgeries.

"I got to that point where I was like, 'I don't want to be in a hospital anymore,'" he said, while also noting how grateful he is.

"I made it out alive, luckily, and I'm very thankful to be alive," he said. "Obviously, being in that situation, where you were in the room with two kids who now aren't (here), you deal with survivor's guilt. But at same time, thankful to be alive."

It was the final class, the last day of the semester.

He was about to give a presentation. Pescaro said he noticed a kid running toward the classroom.

He heard the shots fired and then felt burning in his stomach.

"I was in my chair when it happening," he said. "I fell out, luckily, on the other side, because I got shot on this side."

He credits his girlfriend and mom for being strong pillars to help him pull through.

His family has been by his side and others have been offering support.

The President of the Charlotte Hornets has come to visit.

Pescaro plans to return to UNCC in the fall.

In spite of his own recovery, he worries about his classmates who witnessed the horrific incident.

"There was a hundred people in that class and the whole campus in general is shaken up by this," he said.

UNCC has announced that the classroom where students were terrorized will not be used for any purpose next school year.