A survivor of the shooting at Northern Arizona University says he was shot in the neck while cradling his mortally wounded friend.
Nick Prato said he wasn’t near the initial altercation that led up to the shooting, but he was in the parking lot outside Mountain View Hall early Friday morning when the suspect retrieved what he now knows was a gun.
“I simply turned around and watched a dark figure come out of the shadows shining a flashlight on my friend. The next thing I knew, I heard gunshots and I saw them drop to the ground,” he said by phone while recovering at home.
His Delta Chi Fraternity brothers Kyle Zientek, Nicholas Piring, and Colin Brough were struck by the gunfire. Prato rushed over to Brough.
“I was just hoping my friend wasn't dead. I was just holding him in my arms. I saw all the blood and I was just traumatized by the whole situation,” he said.
While cradling his friend, Prato was shot once in the neck.
“I’m very lucky,” he said.
Brough did not survive.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, Prato stood in the front row of a large vigil for Brough and the other victims of the shooting in the North Quad, with a white hospital bandage covering the left side of his neck.
The others would have been there too, if they had been healthy enough, Prato said. He declined to discuss the conditions of Zientek and Piring, saying any update should come directly from their families.
He said he didn’t have words to describe the emotions of losing his friend Brough.
“I'm just happy that some of us are coming out of this to tell the story.”
Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.