A New Bern man said he can relate to the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
For 19 years, John Scirica was a devoted principal at Oxhead Road Elementary School in Centereach, New York. He said during his time as a principal, he was getting death threats and feared for his life.
“He opened the door and said, 'Did you call those guys,'” said Scirica. ”So I said yea. Then he said, 'You call anybody else, I'm coming back for ya and I'm going to put 9 bullets in your head.'”
In the early 90s, he had a bad run-in with a man he described as a lunatic. Scirica said the man terrorized him for a year all because he asked him to keep his dogs away from the school yard. When the man refused, Scirica told NewsChannel 12 a call to animal control led to threats from the man.
"It was frightening," he said.
Scirica said he pressed charges, got an order of protection, and even had a bodyguard. Despite doing everything to protect him and the school, he said the man continued to harass him.
“He would stand outside right across the street from the school. He would stare at the building trying to intimidate myself and the staff,” said Scirica.
After months of torment, Scirica's biggest fear became a reality right outside school grounds; however, he was not the victim.
“The guy was down the block and shot some woman right through the window of her house. I said I knew something was going to happen with this guy,” he said.
Scirica said the man was later arrested, but he still can't help think what could have happened.
“It has affected me psychologically, just thinking about this especially since I went through something that could've been as much of a tragedy as this one,” he said, referencing the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook.