September 26, 2020

Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson Releases New Book, “Over My Shoulder: A Columbine Survivor’s Story of Resilience, Hope, and a Life Reclaimed”

Over My Shoulder by Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson

On April 20, 1999, Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson was trapped in the library when two teenage boys carried out an attack on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. When the shooting began, Kacey hid under a table with only a chair to protect her. Moments later, she was shot at close range, her shoulder bones reduced to dust and hand severely injured. Minutes later, she fled the school with fellow survivors, in shock and at risk of bleeding to death.

Johnson has spent nearly two decades coming to terms with the haunting reality of her high school years, that brutal day at Columbine High School, and the impact of those and subsequent events on her life. Her newly released book, “Over My Shoulder: A Columbine Survivor’s Story of Resilience, Hope, and a Life Reclaimed” shares this story.



Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson Columbine Survivor, Author and Speaker

The injuries she received in the library at Columbine High School took her close to death and the risk of amputation of her right arm. She survived and was given the gift of donated bone and tissue to rebuild her shoulder, arm, and hand.  The shooting followed a year of adolescent struggles for Johnson, involving the deaths of four friends (two by suicide), a deep depression, her own plan for suicide, and a rescue by her parents.

“Over My Shoulder” shares the details of her struggles, her physical and mental injuries and disabilities, the loss of a nursing career, her remarkable journey to find healing and hope, and an unexpected avenue to share that hope with others.

“To find resolve and meaning after painful events is not easy, but my goal is to encourage others who may be struggling to know that there is hope, and that finding purpose from pain is both possible and fulfilling.”  Johnson noted.

As the 20th anniversary of Columbine High School shooting nears, Johnson is more determined than ever to use her turbulent journey of healing and awareness to help others in their life struggles through her book and speaking publicly about her journey and the importance of bone and tissue donation.

Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson

“For any struggling adolescent, for any distraught parent, for anyone who has endured trauma or grief–in other words, for any of us–this book offers insight and hope that we, too, can not only endure, but thrive.”, Philip Yancey, international bestselling author.

Johnson resides in North Carolina with her husband Patrick and four children.

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