Documentary on Santa Fe HS shooting to be released soon

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- Two years after a student opened fire in an art class at Santa Fe High School, a documentary film about one of the victims is expected to be released soon.

Eight students and two substitute teachers were killed during the May 18, 2018 mass shooting. Another 13 were injured.

Santa Fe High School Shooting Victims: Here's what we know

For the past year, Dallas-area filmmaker Brandon Smith has been working to make sure the victims and their families are never forgotten.

Smith is telling the story of the shooting through the life of Christian Riley Garcia.

The 15-year-old, who went by Riley, died a hero holding his classroom door shut in order to protect his peers.

"What people have said about him in the film completely matches the actions he took on that day," Smith said.

"When we approached this, we wanted to tell the story of Riley and who he was," Smith said. "While also trying to understand what happened that day, May 18th of 2018. We wanted to really dive into the intimacies and suffering this family went through, but also, what's come of it and the messages we learned from it."

The 90-minute documentary is called "Love Thy Neighbor - the Story of Christian Riley Garcia."

"Riley sacrificed that day for others," Smith said.

Classmates said Riley, who wanted to be an Army Ranger, used his body to block the door helping others get away from the gunfire.

"It's definitely difficult in some parts. But I think it's a story that is needed, and it's something that people do need to hear, and it's definitely a lesson for all of us."

Smith is now hoping to show the film across North America through the film festival circuit.

He needs $5,000 to enter the film in dozens of festivals from Sundance to the Houston International Film Festival.

He set up a GoFundMe account, and all extra proceeds will be donated to the Christian Riley Garcia Foundation, created by Riley's parents.

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