She is one of three victims of the Clackamas Town Center shooting and the only one to survive.
On Saturday, 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko shared what happened inside the mall that day for the very first time.
The teen was walking home from school and taking a shortcut through the mall when she was shot in the chest by Jacob Roberts.
"Being home ... is family," said the teenager from her parents' home.
Surrounded by the arms of her family and on the mend from surviving the unthinkable, Kristina relives the moment she came face-to-face with a killer.
"I only saw him for an instant, just enough to see he was wearing black, a mask, and carrying a gun. I didn't even realize that it was a real gun. I thought it was a prank," added Kristina.
It wasn't until the first shots rang out that she realized not only was the gun real but Roberts was heading in her direction.
As bullets whizzed passed her she hid behind a pillar alongside her best friend Alyana. When she looked down, she realized she had been shot in the chest.
"I did feel a huge amount of pressure and pain but honestly it feels like - you can't describe what it feels like," said Kristina.
Kristina was rushed the hospital where doctors at OHSU removed bullet fragments from her collapsed lung and bruised liver.
Her father said it's nothing short of a miracle that she's here.
"Biggest present for us this Christmas is that she is alive. Otherwise I'm not sure what it would be," said Kristina's father.
The courageous teen, who's endured so much, struggles with many questions about that day; including why two other innocent people had to die.
"It is hard to think that, why should they have to be the ones that weren't able to run away. They were just passing by like all other people, why should it be that they have to be the ones that didn't get away," added Kristina.
But when asked about the man who shot her; she harbors no hate. Instead she's hoping to remind others just how precious life is.
"He might have had a hard life, I don't know what his life was like or his reasons for doing what he did. I can't exactly blame him. It only shows how prepared we have to be, and how we have to cherish every moment because you never know when it could be the last," said Kristina.
The Shevchenkos also wanted to extend their deepest condolences to the families of Steve Forsyth and Cindy Yuille. They said they, too, are in their prayers during this difficult time and they want to thank the community for all its continued support.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:03:10 GMT
Beaverton police said one man was shot at a condo near Progress Ridge early Tuesday morning. Just before 1 a.m., police received calls about gunfire at the condo in the 15000 block of southwest SparrowMore >
Reports of gunfire led Beaverton police to respond to a condo in the Progress Ridge area early this morning. More >
Citing a lack of leads, a police agency said Monday that it is closing the active investigation of the disappearance of Susan Powell, a Utah mother whose now-dead husband was a prime suspectMore >
The lawyer for the family of missing Utah woman Susan Powell said Tuesday that even as local police close the active part of their investigation into her disappearance, federal authorities continue to review the case - a...More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:27 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:27:32 GMT
A local horse is safe after crews pulled it out of a swimming pool in Corbett Monday morning.It happened at a home on Southeast Henkle road.Firefighters and an animal rescue crew went to the home.TheyMore >
A local horse is safe after crews pulled it out of a swimming pool in Corbett Monday morning.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 10:01 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:01:22 GMT
Sherwood police are trying to track down the person who left a hidden camera inside a bathroom at Starbucks. The hidden camera was discovered May 1. The Sherwood Police Department has been working closelyMore >
Sherwood police are trying to track down the person who left a hidden camera inside a bathroom at Starbucks.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:45 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:45:19 GMT
Police in Northwest Portland are investigating an armed robbery. Officers say a man with a gun approached the valet for Café Mingo, a restaurant on NW 21st Avenue, just after 7 p.m. Monday. The valetMore >
Police in Portland are looking for a man who robbed a valet at gunpoint.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:01 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:01:29 GMT
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is pledging $1 million for tornado relief through his family foundation. The American Red Cross announced Tuesday that the gift from The Durant Family FoundationMore >
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is pledging $1 million for tornado relief through his family foundation.More >