Kelsea Ballerini Fights Back Tears Recalling Her High School Shooting Experience

When promoting her new poetry collection titled ‘Feel Your Way Through’, the ‘Miss Me More’ singer opens up about witnessing her classmate Ryan McDonald being fatally shot in the chest.

AceShowbizKelsea Ballerini is still triggered by a 2008 high school shooting incident, which cost a friend his life. The country star was promoting her new poetry collection, “Feel Your Way Through”, on CBS Mornings, when she opened up about the drama through tears.

Ballerini was a student at Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, when her classmate Ryan McDonald was shot in the chest by a fellow 15-year-old, Jamar Siler, who was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The “Miss Me More” singer had never discussed the incident in public and clearly still has a raw connection to the tragedy, telling the show hosts, “I will cry. I was worried about that…”

“With this particular situation, you know, I’ve never talked about it before, but as the book was forming I was realizing that if I’m gonna talk about the things that have made me me, I certainly can’t avoid this. I’ve never talked about it before.”

Ballerini wrote about the shooting incident in a poem tribute, titled “His Name Was Ryan”, and told the news show she watched her friend die.

“His name was Ryan, and he died on the cafeteria floor from a gunshot wound to the chest,” the poem reads. “I can’t be too sure, but I think I saw him breathe his last breath.”

“I’m scared of loud noises, I’m triggered by the news, I’m terrified of guns, I’m sensitive in crowds/But I’m alive/And because of a boy named Ryan, I know what a gift that is.”

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