Hope - Documentary Taken from A School Shooter's Brother

By Isaac Huang On November 12, 2013

On Oct 2, 2006 one man walked into an Amish school house in Pennsylvania where he shot and killed five young schoolgirls and injured five more before taking his own life. This shooting incident shocked the whole country. 7 years later, the shooter's brother decided to take on a documentary project, focusing on hope and forgivenss that shined through the darkest corner. 

Zachary Roberts recently released the following statement as an public appeal for the fundraising of the ongoing project:

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My name is Zachary Roberts and on Oct 2nd 2006 my oldest brother, Charles Roberts, walked into an Amish school house in Pennsylvania where he shot and killed five young schoolgirls and injured five more before taking his own life. The reason I am contacting you today is that over the last seven years my family has had to deal with the burden, grief and questions surrounding this event. My mother, who had just recovered from cancer at the time of the incident, went through the worst imaginable nightmare for a mother. Somehow she found the strength to get through it, helped by the forgiveness from families of the victims and with the help and support from the community who suffered from her son's actions. My mother who a devoted Christian believes her faith was what helped her get through this.

When this happened to my family, my instant reaction as the brother of the perpetrator was to put as much distance as I could between myself and what took place. For many years I didn't want to go back to Pennsylvania, but what eventually brought me back was my mother's strong desire to use her experience to help others and the display of forgiveness and support from the surrounding Amish community. This created a context in which the families were able to heal together.

During the last few years my mother has been telling her story in small public settings, and I have seen first-hand how her story has touched the lives of complete strangers. I personally believe that it resonates with people because we all have had some type of suffering in our lives. Now, seven years later, after so much has happened, I feel it's time to give this story a greater platform, a greater audience.

Zachary has teamed up with a group of filmmakers who have put their free time and resources into this project and parts of the film have been shot over one week in Pennsylvania last June. They are now at a point where the support from the public to help finance and bring this story to completion is needed.

"We decided to turn to crowdfunding to reduce our dependence on traditional film interests. We want people to know about our project and we also want to offer an opportunity to become involved." Zachary wrote.

The Hope. Documentary. project can be found at:  www.indiegogo.com/projects/hope-documentary