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Deputy prays for shooting victim in hospital

Posted at 4:42 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 16:42:26-05

PARKLAND, FL (WPLG/CNN) – The Florida school shooting impacted one Broward County Sheriff’s deputy particularly hard.

As she prays for the victim she was assigned to help protect, she also hopes the community can heal.

"I just let God choose my words," said Deputy Brenda Louis with the Broward County Sheriff's Office

Louis said she’s just a rookie with two years on the force.

She’s also the mother of a 16-year-old who can relate to what many moms and dads felt Feb. 14, the day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"It just hit me really hard,” Louis said. “I don't know how long I cried, but I cried."

Seventeen people, most of them children, would never return home. Medics raced the injured to area hospitals, including 15-year-old Kyle Laman, who was shot in the leg.

Louis would later be assigned to a detail at Broward Health on Laman’s floor.

"When Kyle came out from surgery, I just felt it in my heart – it was really heavy in me to pray for him,” Louis said. “And my sister actually texted me and she was like, 'You need to pray for these kids, you were placed there for a reason.'

"I just took a risk, and I asked the mom and the dad, 'Is it okay if I pray for Kyle?' And they were very ecstatic, they were happy, and were like, 'Of course you can, you can.' And I had no idea they were going to take this picture of me."

Her eyes were closed, so she doesn’t know who took the picture. She was speaking as her hand gently rested on Laman’s leg, but she can’t recall what she said.

Louis said she and God were having a conversation.

"I just believe prayer is very powerful," Louis said.

Louis also said she’ll keep praying for everyone affected by the tragedy.

"It's going to be hard. I guarantee you that it's going to be extremely hard,” Louis said. “But just prayer and knowing that God is there, they're going to get through it."

Laman’s parents have set up a GoFundMe account to cover the medical bills and other expenses they’re incurring while away from work and in the hospital with their son.

In the meantime, Louis said she hasn’t actually spoken with Laman yet, but that she plans to do so as soon as her schedule allows her to get back to the hospital.

Broward County school officials plan to re-open Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to staff members Thursday.

It’s not known when students will return.

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