Less than four months ago, Rome Shubert had one of those moments when he felt "blessed."
As just a sophomore in high school, he was already set up to receive a free college education. He had just verbally committed to play college baseball at the University of Houston.
Somehow that proud moment has been made smaller for Shubert, his family and the entire town of Santa Fe, Texas, just about 30 miles southeast of Houston.
After surviving a gunshot wound to the back of the head during Friday's mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, Shubert is counting his blessings again, but in a much more profound way. He's just happy to be alive.
"I just feel lucky to be here," Shubert told KTRK before breathing a heavy sigh of relief. "I just wish this didn't happen. It shouldn't have happened to anybody in that school."
Shubert was in art class during first period Friday when he told the Houston Chronicle he saw the shooter walk into his classroom in a trench coat. Then there were three loud "pops." Then, panic.
"I was sitting doing my work and he walked in, tossed something on the desks behind me," Shubert told the newspaper, "And then three loud pops and I jumped under my table and flipped it in front of me and I guess he ran out in the hall and I took off out the back door and when I was running I realized I was shot in the back of my head."
Authorities believe that shooter in the trench coat was Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, also a student at Santa Fe High School, who was armed with a .38-caliber revolver and a shotgun and had set up explosives both on campus at the high school and in the surrounding community. The mass shooting rampage left 10 dead and at least 10 wounded.
One of the three loud pops he heard was the bullet that entered the back of Shubert's head, near the C1 vertebrae at the base of his skull, his mother Sheri Shubert told KTRK.
"He could have been a quadriplegic," Sheri Shubert told CNN. "But the doctor told me it went in clean and out clean. We have do to something. We have to take a stand. America has to take a stand for our kids."
The bullet exited Rome's head below his left ear, somehow without damaging anything but the soft tissue around his head and neck.
It all puts pitching in that 4-0 loss for Santa Fe High School's baseball team Thursday night against Kingwood Park into perspective.
"I was scared for my life, and I'm still shaken up," Rome told KRIV. "I don't get why someone would do this. I'm glad I'm okay but my prayers go out to those who weren't as lucky as I was."