REDLANDS - Sacred Heart Academy Principal Angela Williams went into prayer when she heard the news of Friday's shooting in Connecticut.

Williams then thought back to the tragedy that hit her school in 1995.

She had been with the school for three years when then Principal Rick Facciolo was shot in the face by a disgruntled 13-year-old student, who died leaving the scene, slipping on the rain slicked sidewalk and accidently shooting himself in the chest with his sawed-off shotgun.

A motive was never officially given, but Facciolo reported that he had a disciplinary meeting with the boy earlier that day regarding the dress code, which prohibited baggy pants.

"You learn not to take anything for granted," Williams said. "That was a horrible tragedy. We are very much keen on safety for our kids. That was so unfortunate."

Several members of today's Sacred Heart Academy staff were part of the staff when its shooting occurred.

"Crystal clear," said Kathy Lawson, a fifth-grade teacher now in her 15th year at the school, of her memory of the incident. "I had kids at the school, my own kids."

Since the 1995 shooting, the school has undergone several noticeable changes. The principal's office was located near a street entrance. It is now located in a building at the center of the school. And the school is now a gated campus.

"When we had the incident that happened years ago, we had a ton of counselors the next day," Williams said. "We continued to work with the kids and teachers."

At the time the 1995 shooting was the first act of violence of any kind of the San Bernardino/Riverside Diocese' 30 schools in 100 years.

Reports state the student enrolled into Sacred Heart Academy less than a week before the shooting.

Williams toured the campus after her prayer Friday.

"I was walking around making sure the gates were set," Williams said. "I walked to several classrooms, getting a vibe for the thing. Nobody brought it to school."


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