USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Eli Pagunsan’s life changed forever when California officials branded him as a potential school shooter.
It’s not easy for Eli Pagunsan to talk about the ordeal that began seven years ago, when he was a high school freshman in Riverside County, California. His life was destroyed. He briefly considered suicide as a way out.
When he looks back, the now 22-year-old feels a mix of “anger, anguish, and fear.”
“There’s a part of me that needs this story to be told,” he said. “I’ve been trying to tell people about it. I didn’t understand that what happened to me was wrong until I went to therapy.”
Life has never been easy for Pagunsan. He has always been an outsider and somewhat of an introvert. His parents immigrated from the Philippines. Pagunsan was born in Arkansas. He says he grew up the victim of frequent abuse, which was meted out by his father.
“We’ve reconciled now. I’ve forgiven him, but I remember whenever he was mad at us, he’d strip us naked and beat us with whatever was closest – a vacuum pipe, electrical cord or belt,” Pagunsan said.
At one point, he said, his father made him tell his teachers he was “worthless,” and that he wouldn’t be coming to school anymore.
After his parents divorced, an ex-Army officer who was helping raise Pagunsan told him he would either be a heroin addict or shot by police, and that he would be a “juvenile delinquent.”
All three assessments were wrong.
As a young man, Pagunsan found solace in reading, video games, and history.
“I used to be a big fan of World War II films like ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Pacific,’ he said. “I played a lot of ‘Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault.’ I found out that my family fought as guerillas against the Japanese, and I’m very proud of that.”
Pagunsan’s great-grandfather was a carpenter on Luzon when the Japanese invaded.
“He had a choice to either run or fight. He fought with the Americans. He was captured and survived the Bataan Death March. He lived until 1978 when he died of lung cancer,” Pagunsan said.
While most kids his age were socializing and interacting with others, Pagunsan was playing video games, reading in the library, or writing.
He joined a writing club when he was only 12 years old.
“I still get a weird, cathartic feeling creating characters that are based off of experiences I have had,” he said. “I get satisfaction from writing – being able to improve upon it feels good.”
All of Pagunsan’s hobbies and interests would play a role in what was to come.
Click the link to read the whole article: High School Freshman Red-Flagged at Age 14