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With release of mom’s Columbine memoir, survivor living in the metro recalls tragic day

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- This April marks the 17th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. Now the mother of Dylan Klebold-- one of the teens involved in the mass shooting -- has put her words to paper.

Sue Klebold's new book 'A Mother's Reckoning' hit bookshelves this week.

An area woman who survived the shooting is reacting to the book and remembering that horrific day when Eric Harris and Klebold murdered 13 victims at the suburban Denver high school.

“I had just gone to get lunch and I was going back to eat it in the yearbook room because I was actually an editor,” said 34-year-old Casey Gentry.

She was 17, and a senior at Columbine High School when the shooting happened on April 20, 1999.

“Got back to the room, and shortly after we heard what sounded like firecrackers,” Gentry recalled.

She now lives with her husband and three children in Lee's Summit, she's originally from Colorado and remembers that day well.

“I was very fortunate, a couple of gals and I got out of the school relatively quickly,” Gentry said.

Gentry says she knew of the two gunmen; they were also seniors in a class of more than 400 students.

Now -- 17 years later -- Klebold's mom, Sue, is standing up for mental health awareness with her new memoir and interviews on national news.

“As somebody who lived through that, as somebody who survived that, I’m really intrigued, I’d like to hear what she has to say, and I appreciate her willingness to talk,” Gentry said.

Gentry says she`s seen only excerpts of Klebold's interview.

“To do so, I have to put myself into a particular frame of mind,” Gentry said of watching the interview in its entirety.

Gentry says she can imagine writing the book was therapeutic for Sue - as she did lose a child herself, and carries the burden of what her child did.

“I don`t think anybody can completely understand what she has gone through,” said Gentry. “I think a lot of us have been curious about what happened to the parents of Dylan and Eric, who inevitably have been carrying a lot of hurt this whole time as well.”

Gentry says she knew some of the victims personally, but despite everything, she says she's grateful Klebold is speaking out, since having children of her own has made her more empathetic.

“It is impossible to know what your child is doing and thinking every single minute of the day, I think parents do the best they can,” Gentry said.

Gentry says she hopes the book opens a dialogue between parents and their kids. She says when the time is right, and her kids are older, she will talk about that fateful day with them.