It has been ten years since the shooting at Columbia High School. Geoff Redick details the lessons of the past decade, and what is still left to learn.
"John never should have been sentenced to the time that he was sentenced to," said E. Stewart Jones, the defense attorney for John Romano.
Trish DeAngelis, the former Rensselaer County District Attorney, added, "There's a lot of people who think it wasn't enough time in prison."
It's been said that time heals all wounds. But what can time do, for those who create the pain?
Jon Romano, 26, is about halfway through his prison time. He was sentenced to 20 years for firing three gunshots and injuring a teacher at Columbia High School in 2004.
Jones said, "This was a tragic, life-altering event for Jon. I think more so than for anybody else."
In the seven years since his last sentencing appeal failed, Jones has maintained Romano was punished for the hysteria around other school shootings, and not for his own crime.
"He should have been punished for that, in the context of who he was and what he was going through at the time. And not for what happened at Columbine," said Jones.
Romano spent several months in pyschiatric care before the shooting. He had also written a six-page letter offering insight on troubled family life, and relationships at school.
"It clearly told anyone who would look at it objectively, that this was a young man who was not in control of his impulses and his decisions," added Jones.
However, the woman who successfully prosecuted Romano, says that it is clearly untrue. Romano took a plea deal, instead of risking a mental illness defense at trial.
DeAngelis said, "The issue was whether or not he knew what he was doing, and if he knew it was wrong. And he did. And he admitted that."
DeAngelis faced criticism from both sides in pursuing the 20-year sentence. However, she'll never believe it was too harsh.
"You can't look at this case and say, 'Well, nobody died, so we should just push it under the rug, and give him probation and give him counseling.' You know, but for the grace of God nobody died! And it wasn't because he didn't try," said DeAngelis.
"Uniformed police presence is the biggest deterrent for any sort of invasion into the school," said School Resource Officer Peter Partek.
Since that day in 2004, and in the wake so many more school shootings, Columbia High School has learned to improve its defenses. It has hired a full-time high school resource officer.
"In case something were to go wrong, or they have information, they feel comfortable coming up to talk to me about it," explained Partek.
Designing a new school entranceway is another defense mechanism. It's expected to be built this summer.
"Which will have bulletproof glass, and help us better control who comes in and out of the building," explained Columbia High School Principal John Sawchuk.
Conducting quick-response police drills to combat active shooters has also become exceedingly important.
Partek added, "We want to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible, yes."
However, the most apparent changes do not show up on the school budget.
"You know, as educators now, when we hear a scream or a loud noise, it's something that's startling to people now. And you'll see people that react very quickly," said Sawchuk.
Many of the long sought after answers in this case can only come from Romano. Time Warner Cable News has reached out to him for comment, but have not heard back. The actions sparking such violence by the aggressor or by those who provoke, must come to an end.