Student Hid in Closet From Mass Murderer 70 Years After Grandfather Did The Same

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PARKLAND, Fla. – Carly Novell survived the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida by hiding in a closet – and her grandfather also escaped a lone gunman the same way almost 70 years ago.

The 17-year-old senior tweeted on Thursday about her being the second member in her family to survive a mass shooting.

“This is my grandpa. When he was 12 years old, he hid in a closet while his family was murdered during the first mass shooting in America. Almost 70 years later, I also hid in a closet from a murderer. These events shouldn’t be repetitive. Something has to change,” Novell tweeted.

Her grandfather, Charles Cohen, survived a mass shooting by a lone gunman, who was considered to be the first single-episode mass murderer in American history.

In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight,” Novell’s mother, Merri Novell, said she was always wary of school shootings.

“This keeps happening over and over again,” Novell said. “It started all the way back in 1949. And nothing has really changed because the gun laws haven’t changed.”

What happened on September 6, 1949

Howard Unruh was accused of killing more than a dozen people in the deadly shooting spree. He was diagnosed with “dementia praecox, mixed type, with pronounced catatonic and paranoid coloring” and was ruled criminally insane, making him immune from prosecution.

Cohen’s parents and grandmother were killed in their New Jersey home by Unruh, a World War II veteran September 6, 1949.

On “CNN Tonight,” Carly also expressed her frustration with perpetual inaction around gun control after mass shootings.

“I just want people to stop talking about it and then not doing anything,” she said. “People keep saying your thoughts and prayers and all of these things, but it doesn’t make a difference if nothing ever changes. This happens over and over again and people are dying, and it seems like it doesn’t matter because, what are thoughts and prayers going to do when people are already dead?”

The high school senior added that people can provide their thoughts and prayers and also put those same words into action to prevent other mass shootings.

“You can talk about what needs to change and you can also be mourning the victims,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be one or the other.”

The 17-year-old went on to speak out about her response to Fox News’ Tomi Lahren’s comments on gun control.

Lahren, a conservative commentator tweeted that the “left” should stop their anti-gun agenda.

“Can the Left let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gunowner agenda?” she wrote. “My goodness. This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic.”

The high school shooting survivor told Lemon that she was upset with Lahren’s remarks and had to respond.

“I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours,” she wrote. “It was about guns. You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings. This IS about guns and this is about all the people who had their life abruptly ended because of guns.”

“I think it’s different when you hear it from someone who was there,” she said. “While we were in there, we were all still talking about gun control and how something needs to change. We were in a closet and we were still thinking about this. It matters all the time. There is no waiting period.”


  • Dick Kickem

    Interesting how all previous comments on this article were deleted.

    The media cannot stop milking this issue for hits, circulation, and readership. There is a tally kept on how many hits each article receives, and those statistics are part and parcel of the marketing and advertising. It’s almost like a shard of glass in one’s foot. Each step, you know it’s there and you can’t even find it to pluck it out. This is ongoing and this NEVER happened on such a regular basis 25 years ago, and plenty of people had firearms back then. Thanks to the Columbine incident and the publicity surrounding it, there have been countless copycats who wanted their week in the annals of infamous history.

    Good work, new and social media! Keep that snowflake machine grinding them out.

  • Kyriel West

    I do wish the media would stop such extensive coverage of mass shootings. The publicity seems to encourage others to copycat and get their own minute of fame (or infamy). Yesterday, a sixth grader in our school pulled the fire alarm at the end of the day. Wonder where he got the idea for that? Sound familiar?

  • Kyriel West

    Sorry to disagree AGAIN, but it’s not about guns-It’s about people with unstable minds that get no mental health help ! Let’s suppose the government DID take away ALL the guns in the U.S. What would keep an unstable kid from searching the internet, building some bombs and blowing up a school? Didn’t the two guys in the Colorado shooting, Harris and Klebold, bring pipe bombs with them? You can make poison gas from two common chemicals available in almost every grocery, hardware or discount store. This was the first poison gas used by the Central Powers in WW1, The problem isn’t the weapons used, it’s the intent of the unstable mind to kill others. I wish all the liberals in this country would worry more about helping those with the intent to kill, rather than worrying about the weapon used after the fact. Remember, the gun doesn’t kill without a human finger on the trigger.

  • Roflmao

    Wrong! Go fact check yourself WNEP, your wrong by 140 plus years. That’s by the mass shooting definition of today, 4 or more. DIMMS lie again!

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