Onetime NY school shooter shares TikTok updates after sword attack

A man who spent 16 years in prison for the 2004 school shooting in New York was attacked by a sword-wielding vagabond at the homeless shelter where he now works — and he’s clearly on his recovery TikTok is going viral with the update.

John Romano, who was released from prison in 2020, had to reattach his hands in the horrific August 29 attack in Albany, which also caused serious injuries to his head and legs, According to Times-Union,

Romano, 34, described cycling through a range of emotions from despair to optimism in the first of a series of nine TikToks he recorded from his hospital bed last week.

“The boy comes running to me ‘f-ing white devil.’ Screaming. And you know, I run, ha. I literally run for my life,” Romano said in a clip that has since garnered everyone from hundreds of thousands to more than a million views.

He said the attack began after he encountered a man eating lunch at a homeless shelter for using racist language.

The attacker, who had two swords on him, “catches me on the ladder and knocks me down and I’m lying on the stairs,” Romano recalled.

“He just starts swinging swords, and he’s slashing my legs horribly and I’m still holding them even though they’re falling apart,” he continued.

Romano said that he had lost consciousness – and awoke to the deranged man, biting his arms.

“I don’t know why I’m still alive today,” he said through tears. “I have been in the hospital for three and a half weeks now. I can’t really move my arms or my legs, I can move my left hand a bit but not my hands and I get pins holding my bones together. And I’ve lost complete freedom, I’m just lying in bed 24/7. ,

Close up of Romano's clenched arms
In the August 29 attack, Romano’s arms were cut and reassembled.
The exterior of a homeless shelter in Albany
The attack took place at the Community Connection drop-in center in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood.
Google Map

Suspect Randall Mason, 42, is facing multiple felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder.

She reportedly admitted to police that she “bitten” Romano after a disagreement.

The Times-Union reported that Romano was seeking redemption for the shooting at Columbia High School in the Albany suburbs nearly two decades ago.

Then 16, Romano fired a 12-gauge shotgun at students and staff, injuring a teacher, before he was disarmed by an assistant principal, according to a local outlet.

He was convicted of attempt to murder and released from prison in 2020. He had since been working at the Community Connections Drop-In Center in the poverty-stricken neighborhood of Arbor Hill, not far from the state capitol.

romano smiled
Romano was trying to give back to the community after his suburban high school was set on fire in 2004.

In a later clip of Romano, which has garnered millions of views, he seemed excited and focused on overcoming his injuries.

“We’re still going to move forward, we’re still going to talk about reforms and do well,” he said.

He regained some movement in his arms—which were reattached, and said doctors told him there was a chance he might one day walk again.

In a clip posted on Sunday, Romano is seen sunbathing in the courtyard of a hospital.

“It’s a gorgeous day and I wanted to share it with you all,” he said through a wide grin. “And I really needed it and I’m very happy for it. I’m happy to be alive.”

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