Syracuse University Student Deals with Aftermath of Mass Shooting

Mykenzie Lane (left) and Rachel Burkhardt (Right) pose for smiling photo. (Photograph Courtesy of Rachel Burkhardt)

By Faith Cain SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Just after 2 a.m. Syracuse University student, Rachel Burkhardt received a call. It was her mother and she was notified her best friend had been shot.

MyKenzie Lane, 21 and her boyfriend Brandon Helmick, 20 on October 1st attended the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The duo heard shots rang out and ran for cover. As Lane crawled for safety she felt a piercing pain in her leg, realizing she had been hit.

Burkhardt received the news later that evening. Burkhardt said, “I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock.”

Lane and her boyfriend found an Uber driver that took them to the hospital. The duo were survivors of the largest mass shooting in American history that left at least 58 people killed and over 500 injured.

Communication between the two friends since the incident has been inseparable. More than 2,500 miles away Burkhardt finds ways to keep in touch.

Burkhardt said, “I definitely think this has hit me a little harder than I was expecting because I can’t go an hour without talking to her.”

She never second guessed her choice to go to a school so far away like Syracuse University, but times like these she wishes for a pause button.

“I’m definitely having more of struggle with being so far away from home,” Burkhardt said.

Lane is now home resting and recovering from surgery. Burkhardt is still in Syracuse and slowly transitioning back into her classes.