Things are not what they may seem in this chilling public service announcement released by a group founded by families affected by the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 ahead of the shooting’s fourth anniversary. In the Newtown, Connecticut shooting 20 children ranging in ages six to seven years old and six adults were killed.
The Sandy Hook Promise group launched the PSA titled “Evan” on Friday as a part of their “Know the Signs” gun violence campaign. The PSA has quickly reached over two million views on YouTube. Sandy Hook Promise was founded by, among others, Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, who both lost 6-year-old sons in the shooting, Fox 13 reported.
“Evan” is a high school love story, with the titular character making it through the end of the school year while talking back and forth with a mystery pen pal of sorts until the two finally meet. It’s all very sweet until their fateful meeting is interrupted by a classmate pulling out a gun and getting ready to shoot them and other students. The PSA says, “While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting. But no one noticed.” Then the video goes back to the beginning and shows viewers how a classmate of Evan’s who appears in the PSA’s background was planning a shooting all along. Those signs included: reading a magazine about guns in the school’s library; being socially isolated and aggressive; being bullied; and posting an Instagram selfie with a gun captioned, “See you at school.”
“Gun violence is preventable when you know the signs,” the PSA warns. Head over to Sandy Hook Promise’s site to learn more.