She lost her 14-year-old son and her father to an apparent act of hate this past weekend, but when Mindy Corporon stepped forward to address the world Monday, she had nothing but words of love and faith to share.
“You have to reach to God," said Corporon -- whose son, Reat, and 69-year-old father, William, were shot and killed at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan.-- in a statement to reporters. "You have to reach to your friends and search your soul and that’s what it’s about. It’s about us who are living and it’s about loving and caring for one another.”
Corporan's son had been at the Jewish Community Center Sunday to audition for an "American Idol"-like competition called KC Superstar. He and his grandfather, who were reportedly both Christian, were shot outside the center by a gunman, who minutes later killed Terri LaManno, a Catholic woman, at a nearby Jewish retirement center.
Police arrested a suspect, identified as a white supremacist named Frazier Glenn Cross, on Sunday afternoon. It was reported that Cross may have shouted "Heil Hitler!" as he was led away by authorities.
In her address Monday, Mindy Corporon said that a "horrible act of violence" had ripped her son and father away from her. Yet though her grief has been profound, she explained that her faith and the love she's felt all around her has kept her afloat.
"People keep saying, how come you're so strong? I'm strong because I have family, I'm strong because I have faith," she said. "I know that God did not do this. I know that there are evil, evil actions. But what we do have is each other, we have love and we have prayer, and we have friends and family. ... Our phone's been ringing off the hook."
Corporon, who arrived at the Jewish Community Center moments after the shooting and saw the lifeless bodies of her father and son on the ground, said she hopes "something good" will come from this tragedy.
"We want something good to come out of this," she said. "We don't know what that's going to be. So we want people to let us know if they think something good has come out of it."
Corporon added that her son had opted to be an organ donor, and that she hoped that even in death, he could "help other people."
Watch Mindy Corporon's moving speech in the video, obtained by Fox-affiliate WDAF-TV, above.
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