In a hail of bullets, screams, and confusion, Sandy Phillips lost her daughter, and took up a cause.
Jessica Ghawi, or Jessica Redstone as she was also known, was killed in an Aurora, Colo., movie theatre.
"It would be very easy to stay in bed, curl up and try to make the world go away anyway I could, and I hear her every time I go there, every time I get to where I'm kind of low," says Phillips.
Her daughter’s voice and life still resonate months after she was gunned down, but Phillips wasn't just spurred on by the events at Aurora, she was moved to act by meeting the grieving families after the mass shooting at Newtown, Conn., and the bonds formed by tragedy.
"Not just losing my child, but seeing that devastation in someone else's eyes has stayed with me forever, and I knew then that this is what we have to do. We can't not do this," says Phillips.
Just days later, Phillips and her husband would join the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.
"(We're) trying to get common-sense gun laws established. It's not taking away your guns. We're gun-owners. We plan on keeping our guns. We don't want to lose our guns, but none of this is about that," says Phillips.
In the time since her daughter's death, Phillips would be put in the spotlight. Appearing at news conferences and on national news also made Phillips a target, with hateful things said about her and to her, including from people who say the Aurora shooting never happened.
"I wish they were right. Boy, I wish it was some kind of conspiracy and that my daughter was still living and breathing, and was nothing but an actor. God, that would be a gift. It's just not true," says Phillips.
Phillips says she has no regrets and says she doesn't focus on the criticism or the conspiracies, but the people she's met, and the still-audible voice of her daughter pushing her on.
"I don't feel like I'm doing great things at all, I'm just able to have a voice. Unfortunately, it came at a very high price, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't use it," said Phillips.
Phillips spent part of last week lobbying lawmakers to at least have a conversation about background checks.
She also says she still is grieving, and learning to live with the pain of losing her daughter.