TODAY   |  April 15, 2014

Mom, daughter of shooting victims: ‘They’re in heaven’

Mindy Corporon, who lost her 14-year-old son and her father in the shootings at Jewish facilities in Kansas, joins TODAY to share her emotions in the wake of the tragedy.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> who you just saw, lost her 14-year-old son reat underwood and her father dr. william corporan in that shooting. mindy , good morning to you.

>> good morning, good morning.

>> let me just say our hearts go out to you, they break with you. how are you doing this morning? how are you holding up?

>> this morning's -- education accuse me, this morning has been a little tougher. i did wake up with a renewed spirit, but i had not heard about the shooter as much. i just heard from your show in my ear piece, so i understand that. i'm okay. i'm lifted by my belief in christ and my belief that reat and my dad are in heaven. i know that mrs. lomano is in heaven also and we pray for their family also.

>> so many people in these last two days have been struck by you, your poise, your grace, your eloquence, your ability to unbelievably comfort others in the midst of all this. why has it been important to you to speak out and to be a voice here?

>> i don't really know. i don't understand. i've asked our pastor why it seems so important that i speak and why are people asking to interview me, and -- but i have a sense of peace about me that they're in heaven, literally, when i saw my father lying there, i heard god say "he's in heaven." and it was horrific, but comforting and i ran right to reat. but i had a lot of hope that reat was not as bad off. and somehow, god and my life and my family and our friends have prepared me for this. and so i'm uplifted by that. i have my moments, but i am uplifted by the fact that they're in heaven.

>> and i want to remember both your son and your father. let's start with reat. he sounds like an exceptional young man. he was on the debate team, a gifted singer. and he had written on his twitter account, "live life to the fullest and never give up." to me it's amazing that someone so young would have that very wise perspective.

>> yes. thank you. yeah, he 's wonderful . he 's wonderful now. he 's wonderful in my heart and my memories. and we had a wonderful 14 years with him. and he had a very full life for a 14-year-old. we're going to be able to talk about that at the funeral. and we'll write some things about it in his obituary. and i'm hearing i'm going to be at the vigil today and i want to hear from the students. i don't want them to shut us out. i want them to know that we're available for them to talk to us and we're going to follow them, those students that knew him, and we'll follow them through graduation and college and we want to be a part of that as well so that reat's memory lives on.

>> and your father, dr. corporan, very popular in that area. as i understand it, totally devoted to his grandchildren. he even moved to your town to be closer.

>> yes. yes, we would tease that my parents didn't move here to be close to his kids, he moved here to be close to his grandchildren. and that was accurate. he and my mom did everything that they could for their grandchildren. you know, soccer games, basketball, baseball tournaments nonstop. they wanted to be with them. they're the grandparents that bathe the kids and diaper and everything. they're very all-in.

>> well, mindy corporan, i think so many people are just praying for you and caring about you, and thank you so much for being here this morning in the most difficult of times. we really appreciate it.

>> thank you. it's the prayers that help. so keep praying.

>> we will. mindy , thank you