Mardi Gras Shooting Survivor Asks WDSU Reporter to Prom

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

A New Orleans teen beat the odds when he was shot on Mardi Gras Day in 2018 and survived.

WDSU reporter Juliana Mazza has been covering Josh Butler’s story and his recovery ever since.

But last week, she got more than an interview. Mazza received an invitation to be Butler’s prom date—and she accepted.


“It was just amazing to see how happy he was,” Mazza said. “You’d see him light up when his friends came up to him.”

Mazza posted a video and photo from her evening to social media.

“It’s been a privilege covering his journey! Check out this clip to learn more about Sam & the night of both our lives,” she wrote on Twitter.

Butler can’t walk, eat or speak on his own. Mazza said the experience was just as special for her. She was never asked to any school dances in high school.

“I had an even better time than he did,” Mazza said. “Sam did something for me I never had. I think the experience for both of us was really special.”