GRAPHIC: Father and son survive separate mass shootings

GRAPHIC: Father and son survive separate mass shootings
GRAPHIC: Father and son survive separate mass shootings
Posted at 7:01 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 02:59:31-05

PARKLAND, FL (CNN) – Only months apart, a father and son share an unimaginable common experience: both have survived mass shootings – one, the Route 91 concert shooting in Las Vegas and the other, the shooting at a Parkland, FL, high school.

Braden Freidkes, a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was inside when gunfire broke out, but he eventually made it out and into his parents’ arms.

"We were one of the lucky ones, where we were able to get him, and he was safe,” said Braden’s father, John Freidkes.

But now Braden and his father have a shared experience, one they never imagined. John Freidkes was in Las Vegas when the gunman opened fire onto the Route 91 concert crowd.

"There was a crowd of people running towards us yelling, 'There's a shooter. There's a shooter,’” John Freidkes said. “We were lucky enough to jump in a taxi cab, where there were two women in there already. One was hyperventilating, and the other was seemingly in shock.”

Just months later, the father doesn’t know what to tell his son.

"My parents never had to talk me about situations like this. I don’t know what to tell my kids. I tell them to be alert, don’t live in fear, but you get up every morning and you're afraid to turn on the news,” he said.

Marches are being organized all across the country to pressure Congress into passing gun reform and making schools safer in hopes of the news never featuring this again.

“I want to come home to see my parents every day. I don't want to be a kid that doesn't come home and they're going to be suffering for a long time,” Braden said.

It’s a suffering that’s become a dark chapter in the community and tied a father and son together in a way they could have never expected.

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