- Katy Perry broke down in tears during an “American Idol” audition from a school shooting survivor.
- Trey Louis, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, said he survived a school shooting in 2018.
- “You didn’t have to lose eight friends,” Perry said.
Katy Perry had an emotional moment on Sunday’s episode of “American Idol” when contestant Trey Louis, a survivor of a school shooting, auditioned.
Louis, a 21-year-old mattress salesman from Santa Fe, New Mexico, revealed that he survived a shooting at Santa Fe High School in May 2018 in which Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot and killed 10 people and wounded 13 others.
“In May 2018, a gunman walked into my school,” Louis said. “I was in Art Room 1, and he shot up Art Room 2 before he made his way to Art Room 1. Lost a lot of friends.”
Perry broke down into tears after Louis recalled his experience.
“Our country has fucking failed us!” she said.
“Facts,” replied Louis.
“You should be singing here because you love music,” Perry said, adding that Louis didn’t “have to go through that.” “You didn’t have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change because, you know what? I’m scared, too.”
“American Idol” judge Lionel Richie also weighed in, adding that “we have tolerated this for so long.”
Louis’ audition, in which he performed “Stone” by Whiskey Myers, impressed the judges enough to earn a standing ovation from Perry, Richie, and Luke Bryan, who unanimously agreed to send him to Hollywood for the next round.
A misty-eyed Bryan complimented Louis for her “perfect voice.”
“You sang from the right spot,” Bryan added. “You let it come out of your heart, and that’s what we love around here.”
Perry has been a longtime supporter of gun control in the US. In 2021, her song “Teenage Dream” was used in a PSA by the nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise to help raise awareness about school gun violence.
“For too many kids, The Teenage Dream is shattered by school shootings. Gun violence shouldn’t be part of growing up,” Perry tweeted at the time while sharing the PSA video.