The families of the school shooting victims are now speaking out after a coronial inquest heard their loved one was an innocent bystander who was a teacher and had just finished a lesson.
The family of 16-year-old Kymlyn Smith told the inquest the young girl was a “loving and intelligent young lady” who was “blessed with her smile and light brown hair”.
“It was just like her mum,” she said.
“She was a loving young lady, so I’ve been really touched by her.”
The inquest heard Kymlynn was the first victim of the July 11, 2017, school shooting.
In the days leading up to the shooting, the school was on lockdown for about two weeks after a student was injured.
She told her parents the day before she was killed: “The school has been closed for two weeks.
We’ve been told to stay in the house and go somewhere else.”
Her parents told the inquiry that when Kymlyns mother returned from work she asked her to come home and pick up the kids from school.
They also told the coroner that they had called the police to ask for help after seeing a “loud, black, male” running from the school.
Police officers later said the man turned out to be Kym’s boyfriend.
When police asked Kym to return home, she told them she was in the car and wanted to stay with her parents.
Officers said Kym was “disoriented and very upset” when she got home.
Kymlyn’s mother told the hearing she didn’t think her daughter was involved in the shooting but that the family “believed it was her fault”.
Kynn Smith was shot in the head as she walked to school.
Her mother, Debbie Smith, said she “knew the situation was dangerous”.
Ms Smith said Kynn was “a great kid who had always been a good student”.
She said Kys father “was always there for Kym”, her “big brother” and “big sister”.
In a statement to the coroner, Kym Smith’s mother said: “She was the love of my life.
She loved me dearly.
It was a terrible loss.”
Kyla Tisdale’s family spoke out after the inquest in which she said her daughter Kymley “was a very sweet girl, a great student, always looking out for her friends and was always very positive”.
The hearing heard she had just completed a two-year college course and had been attending university in the US.
Her mother said her daughters older sister was the “princess of the family”.
Her father, Keith Tisdales, said his daughter was “always there for the little ones”.
They said Kyd would “always say: ‘It’s going to be alright, mum’.” Kyd had “always been the sweetest, most loving, most caring, most amazing person I’ve ever known,” Mr Tisdals said.
“She loved kids and would never hurt them.”
Mr Tisdal said his family had been devastated by the shooting and his daughter “was very, very scared”.
‘She was just so sweet’ The inquest heard the family’s eldest daughter, 18-year of Kymryn, was “very sweet, very bright”.
It heard the youngest daughter, 15-year old Kymyn, was also “very bright”, and said she had been “happy and healthy”.
During her testimony, Ms Tisdaled said she felt “disconnected” from Kym in the days before the shooting.
She told the court Kym had been a teacher at St Thomas’ College in Wollongong.
After Kymyd was killed, Ms Smith told her family “it was the worst thing that ever happened to her”.
After the inquest, Ms Kymys mother said she and Kym were devastated and had “never been the same” since the shooting because Kym and her brother had been living together.
Ms Tisdalo’s mother also said Kyla was “just so, so loving and caring”.
Police officers are understood to have spoken to Kym at the time she was shot.
Police told the Coroners Court the “distinct and intense fear” that the victims had of their attacker was “incredibly real”.
A spokesperson for NSW Police said they were “still trying to determine the circumstances of the shooting”.
An inquest has been opened into the shooting of two Australian women at a rural primary school in rural NSW.