Parents of Roswell school shooter apologize

Posted at: 07/02/2014 6:07 PM
By: Ryan Luby and Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There is relief from the victims and their families. Mason Campbell will be in state custody until he is 21 years old. There were a lot of unanswered questions going into today, but now the victims’ families finally have answers and what they were hoping for.

There was an overall satisfied reaction from the victim's families. While no decision by the judge can undo what happened, this was at least the outcome the victim's families were hoping for.

It was an emotional day of testimony. 13-year-olds Kendal Sanders and Nathaniel Tavarez both testified in court. KOB asked Nathaniel what it was like to face the classmate that shot him.

"It was kind of nervous, yet it was quiet relieving," said Tavarez.

Both of the victim's fathers gave their reaction to the sentencing.

Alfred Tavares, Nathaniel’s father said, "I am very satisfied. I think he made the right decision with the counseling that Mason needs to receive. I hope he gets all the counseling that he needs."

"I feel good about the sentence. He's going to get the help he needs, he's going to be out of society where it won't happen again. This should send a message out to everybody that thinks about doing it again, the consequence," said Bert sanders, Kendal’s father

It will still be a long road to recovery. Both students will be recovering from their injuries for the rest of their life. Nathaniel has lost complete vision in his left eye and has only partial vision in his right eye. Kendal Sanders has over 150 shot gun pellets in her body that may prevent her from becoming a mother.

This was about as emotional as it gets, running right up until 4:45 Wednesday afternoon. They wanted to see Mason Campbell get treatment for as long as the law allowed.

We now know for sure that mason was seemingly bullied, tormented, as they described it, for a long time. His own family said they did not know about the extent of it. Certainly, they apologized profusely to the Sanders and Tavarez families Wednesday, as they have before, but Mason's mom and dad also apologized to their son.

“I would like to apologize to my son Mason. I wish we would have known the pain and suffering that you were going through.  I wish we would have known the despair that you were feeling,” said Jim Campbell.

I would give anything. I would do anything to take away your pain and turn back time. I will not rest until you are happy and healthy and home," Jennifer Campbell said.

Mason Campbell’s older brother was also sobbing at the podium. He told mason that he was never a good brother to him, had never really told him that he loved him.

All of this, together, is why Campbell’s family and defense team were really pushing the judge to understand that Mason just needs therapy. They said he could have adequately gotten that in two years time, maybe a few more.

Instead, the judge decided in favor of the victim's families wishes. Saying mason needs to be in the custody of the CYFD until he's 21. The judge admitted that there are no other options than that. The judge said laws that protect children in this state limit how he can sentence a child.