LIRR Train

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

LIRR Massacre 25 Years Later: Survivor Uses Art To Help Heal

December 07, 2018 - 5:00 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A gunman opened fire inside a Long Island Rail Road car 25 years ago on Dec. 7, 1993, killing six people and injuring 19 others before being tackled by passengers while reloading his weapon.

“During that ride, I basically was ducking in between the two seats, bunkering down as he was firing,” said Terry Sullivan, who admits he felt guilty for surviving the shooting.

The gunman, Colin Ferguson, was convicted in 1995 of the six murders and sentenced to 315 years in prison.

Though, those who survived were left with lifelong scars.

“This happened when I had just been married two months prior, my kids were not born,” Sullivan said, adding that his children are now 18 and 20-years-old. “This could have been much different. I mean during the shooting, Colin Ferguson looked at me for one second and then moved on.

After the shooting, Sullivan turned to art to help himself heal from the emotional trauma.

Terry Sullivan

“For whatever reason he didn't fire at me,” Sullivan said. He may never receive an answer either.

Sullivan is a professor at Molloy College and will be displaying his artwork through Dec. 17 at the Campus Gallery for the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

Terry Sullivan

“I have actually six gothic cathedral arches, the shape of them that are kind of almost like gravestones, but it's basically negative space because they're gone,” Sullivan said.

He said his artwork is meant to explain the shooting he lived through while also trying to honor their memories.

Terry Sullivan