Juneteenth celebration shooting victims heal through therapy thanks to organizations

On Juneteenth, local organization Life Anew hosted an event with mental health officials to help those affected by the shooting in Round Rock last weekend.

Inside the Harvest Trauma Recovery Center, this Juneteenth was about healing. 

"We came together and said on Wednesday, whoever's hurting, whoever is in need of a safe space to talk, we're going to offer that," said Sean Oliver, program manager with Life Anew.

Life Anew hosted a special gathering for Juneteenth with therapists available to help anyone following the recent shooting in Round Rock. 

"We just wanted to be able to provide a space and an outlet for people that might be grieving or having a hard time with the things that have taken place. We wanted to provide a safe space for them to be able to come in and talk with somebody, be heard, as well as be around other people to comfort them so they know that they're not alone," said Reese Herd II, trusted messenger/community coordinator with Life Anew.

This past weekend, a shooting broke out at the Juneteenth celebration in Old Settlers Park, injuring 14 people and killing 33-year-old Lyndsey Vicknair and 54-year-old Ara Duke.

A few days following the shooting, this event called words not weapons was set up in hopes of aiding those who need help healing and processing by being there for everyone who needs it including the victims and witnesses.

*"We want to provide them with a space and place where they can begin to heal, begin to realize that they can renew and regain that sense of safety all over again," said Dr. Calvin Kelly, Chief Clinical Officer for the Harvest Trauma Recovery Center. 

Even before this event, the trauma recovery center had already worked with about a dozen people following the shooting.

"They are just horrified. They're shocked to their core. Know that we all, as a community, have been rocked to our core, and that this is not something that you have to deal with by yourself. You have a community of support," said Dr. Kelly.


Those at the trauma recovery center understand the shooting was a traumatic event and it is important for those struggling to know: you're not alone.

"We're just here to help whoever. So if ten show up, we're going to serve them. If 100 show up, we have enough therapists on staff who are professionals. I want to encourage you that this is not the end," said Oliver.

The Harvest Trauma Recovery Center is open six days a week. For help, visit their website.