Steve Bullock discusses losing 11-year-old nephew in school shooting

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Arkansas, New Jersey governors to head National Governors Association Biden 'allies' painting him into a corner MORE (D) was in his last law school class in April 1994 when he got devastating news: His 11-year-old nephew had been fatally shot by a 10-year-old classmate at school. 

“At the time it was the youngest schoolyard shooting in our country's history. Now if a 10-year-old shot and killed an 11-year-old it probably wouldn't even make national news,” Bullock said, recalling the incident in an interview with CNN

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The 2020 presidential candidate said the 10-year-old unintentionally shot Jeremy Bullock in Butte, Mont., while aiming for kids who bullied him.

“There were two victims that day, Jeremy, my nephew, but also this 10-year-old,” Bullock said. “When he was asked, he said ‘no one loves me,’ so it’s changed the way I think about how every child ought to have an opportunity so that they don't grow up to that point at 10 or in their 20s to feel ostracized and left out. It’s changed how I think about public safety.”

The governor shared his experience on coping with the aftermath of losing a family member to a shooting as the nation grappled with two mass shootings over the weekend that took the lives of at least 31 people. 

A Saturday shooting in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people, while a separate shooting on Sunday in Datyon, Ohio, killed nine more. 

“I would never want to say I understand what any family is going through, because every family deals with it in different ways. Trauma isn’t just for families, trauma is for communities,” Bullock told CNN. 

"Some people say thoughts and prayers, and then seem to just want to move onto the next one. If we don’t keep trying to make sure that someday there won’t be a family that deals with either what our family dealt with — or what a family in Ohio or a family in El Paso’s dealt with — then we’re not just failing today, we’re failing tomorrow."

Bullock is one of two dozen Democrats seeking the party's White House nomination next year.