Saugus High shooting survivor speaks at Shabbat

Saugus student Zoe Jacobs listens to Rabbi Mark Blazer as she prepares to recount her experience during the shooting at Saugus High School Thursday at Temple Beth Ami Friday night. Cory Rubin
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“‘I felt something, and I didn’t know what it was, but now I’m bleeding,’”  Zoe Jacobs, a survivor of the Saugus High shooting, recalled a wounded victim telling her right after being shot. 

Jacobs, who helped one of the victims of the shooting and is believed to have placed one of the first calls to 911, spoke Friday night at Temple Beth Ami’s Saugus Strong Shabbat, about her experience during Thursday’s shooting. 

The Saugus Strong Shabbat was a special service that included a theme of healing and strength within the temple’s regular Friday service. This special service was held in the wake of tragedies in hopes of acting as a catalyst in the healing process, according to organizers. 

“We will be holding a special Shabbat of healing for the students, families and our entire community,” a Temple Beth Ami Facebook post stated. “We (hope to bring) light to fight the darkness.” 

Those supporting the high school community while it copes with its grief are being asked to use #SaugusStrong on social media as a show of solidarity.

“A lot of people were affected, there were members who knew the victims and others who know the shooter,” said Rabbi Mark Blazer of Temple Beth Ami. “(There have) been too many times where members in the community have been touched by shootings.” 

On Thursday morning, a shooting at Saugus High School left three dead, including the shooter, and three other students injured. The shooting garnered nationwide coverage and prompted an outpouring of support for Santa Clarita. 

During the shooting, Jacobs was in teacher Kaytie Holt’s office near the quad a few minutes after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, when a student who had a pair of gunshot wounds entered the room. Jacobs and others helped tend to the student, then Jacobs called 911. 

“Everybody tried to find a spot on the ground to get as far as possible from the door,” said Jacobs. “Eventually, about 40 of us were in Holt’s office, which is no bigger than an average bathroom.”

Jacobs and others in the office remained inside treating the victim by applying pressure on the wounds for more than an hour before aid arrived, according to Jacobs. 

“I have never met (the victim), but I can honestly say I love her, “ said Jacobs. “We all felt a responsibility to take care of her. All we cared about was taking care of her.” 

Jacobs asked to speak at Shabbat on Friday, because she wanted to be with the community while she was grieving, according to Blazer. 

Prayer and songs throughout the Shabbat carried the theme of strength and healing to help those impacted by the tragedy. 

“Prayers help us articulate that hope that there is a world that does not have to be like this,” said Blazer. “One of the most important things is to come together to allow people to feel that strength and support of others.” 

Zoe Jacobs will be speaking at the city’s #SaugusStrong vigil on Sunday at 7 at Central Park.

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