Long Island Rail Road massacre survivors gather for 25th anniversary

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The survivors are still calling for gun control more than a quarter-century later.

Survivors of a deadly shooting on the Long Island Rail Road 25 years ago gathered to talk about the day the gunfire rang out and how their lives have changed.

"I feel it's coming, it's like a black cloud over my head and it's coming, I'm just waiting for it," said victim Lisa Combatti. She says it's always a struggle, the two weeks after Thanksgiving.

That's when a man from Brooklyn named Colin Ferguson opened fire inside a Long Island Rail Road commuter train. December 7, 1993.

Six passengers were killed. Lisa was one of 19 people wounded and, at the time, seven months pregnant.

"We have an x-ray at home that shows my spine and the baby's spine and the bullet. And that we both survived, we're so lucky," she said.

As the 25th anniversary of the shooting approaches, survivors and relatives of the victims gathered over dinner in Merrick, a support group that formed in the days after the shooting.

"I lost my husband, this never should have happened," said Joyce Gorycki. The wife of a victim, she became an activist for gun control.

Like the others, she hoped the LIRR shooting would bring change. Instead, gun violence in America has gotten worse.

"It hurts me more to think that it's going on and nobody cares," she said.

Filmmaker Charlie Minn has produced several documentaries on mass shootings. His film on the railroad massacre was released five years ago.

"The Long Island one was one of the first big ones in the modern day era," he said. "You have the 1984 San Diego McDonald's massacre, you had one in Texas in '91, but in the early 90s it was still relatively rare."

Shooting survivor Kevin McHugh was just six feet away when Colin Ferguson began firing. He says he can't bear to watch another mass shooting.

"You see the pictures of people running out of a workplace or a school or something with that face, that was me 25 years ago," said McHugh. "It's haunted me ever since."

Ferguson is serving a 315 year prison sentence. But critics say that does nothing to help prevent the next mass shooting.

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mass shootinglong island railroadMerrickNassau County
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