TAMPA - Six years ago, Patty Para Perez's children were brutally murdered at the hands of their own father. She not only witnessed the horrific attack, she was a victim as well, sustaining a shot in the head, but survived.
Perez has cried a lot in the past in the past six years. More tears were shed as she sat down for the first time in six years to share her horrible ordeal.
"My children were taken away so horribly," she said.
Not a moment goes by that she doesn't think of her Lauren and Sean who were only 12 and 13 when they were shot and killed by their own father, Robert O'Mara.
Now, more than half a decade later, her devestating story seems to be playing out again in another case.
She wants to reach out to Colonel Parker Schenecker. His wife, Julie, was arrested for shooting their children.
"I will tell you what I would do--the first thing I would do is give him a hug and hold him and say I completely understand," Perez said.
16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau were found in their home. Colonel Schenecker was overseas when he received the horrifying news.
He came home to bury his children.
Perez has tried not to watch the coverage because it brings back so many memories, but she can't help think of the Colonel. She was particularly touched, when he addressed a crowd at a church, honoring his children.
"That man was so brave, he stood up and hugged every single person. He asked everyone never to forget his kids that was outstanding outstanding," Perez said through tears.
Perez shares the Colonel's pain. But when her kids were laid to rest, she was in the hospital trying to survive a bullet wound to the head.
"It was a miracle. Not many people survive getting shot close range from a .38. I was (shot) in front. I was facing him about 12 inches away from me, when he fired the shot," she said.
Perez questioned why she survived that night in December of 2004. Doctors said a bullet went through her brain and it took years to learn how to do everything all over again.
"I went through a lot of rehab. I had to learn how to talk. The things we take for granted in everyday life is what I lost, beside my emotional scarring. My physical scarring took years to overcome. I had to re-learn virtually everything. I will never forget that," she said.
But through every grueling moment she has lived with the pain of that night.
"One of the things that God has blessed me with is he has never taken my memory away. I am not going to share the specifics of that night, but I remember it all. That nightmare, a parents worse nightmare, is something I will only live with," she said.
Perez shared that she suffered 15 years of abuse before finally deciding to leave her husband.
She moved out of their spacious home in Lutz into a townhome, but he found her.
"I will tell you it was a total ambush that night."
Sean was shot first and then O'Mara is said to have chased Lauren down.
"Did I see this coming? No, I never suspected that he would ever shoot me and much less his kids, perhaps me I would have believed that...but his kids? Never. I never saw that coming," Perez said.
And that's what she wants to share with Colonel Schenecker. There are plenty of questions, but never any answers.
"As a parent, wouldn't you feel such love, how could you feel such anger? How could you? I don't even know what you would do to feel that. That is the whole point. I do not understand it. I do not understand it," she said.
Six years later, Perez is still in grief counseling. But she is a survivor. There was one thing her husband could not take away, her faith.
"God has always been there for me. Always has been there for me, he has never left me. I have never been alone and I am still not alone," she said.
In the last few years, Perez says she received the greatest gift--
a chance to be a mother again.
She has remarried and has a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy.
She was working in a lawyer's office when she was shot. One of the partners was there for her every step of the way and now, the two are married.
"They are all a wonderful gift from God. I have been so blessed. He blessed me in just the right way. He gave me a daughter and he gave me a son. And, I had an older daughter and I had my youngest son. So, they are not a replacement they are just an addition to my future-and more future memories for me."
She hopes, Colonel Parker will see her story of survival and strength.
She knows it won't be easy and Colonel Schenecker will never forget his children.
"There is hope. They have to look and think one minute at a time," she said.
Her estranged husband ended his own life that December night.
Perez has now devoted her life to domestic violence awareness.
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The Arapahoe County Sheriff said Friday one student was seriously wounded and another has minor injuries after a shooting inside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. INSIDE: WATCH LIVE.