An 88-year-old Colorado woman is in the hospital recovering from her wounds after a gunman shot her with several bullets. She managed to survive by playing dead.
The shooting occurred in Milwaukee on Wednesday, Aug. 24, and resulted in one person being killed and three others received injuries.
Carrie Barnhill was in Milwaukee visiting her family when a gunman opened fire on his elderly neighbors around 9:15 p.m. at 22nd and Center streets.
Barnhill was struck six times with three bullets entering one foot, two bullets going into the other, and one went into her leg. She was outside when the shooting occurred.
Barnhill said her military instincts kicked in, and she pretended to be dead to stay alive.
“Being in the military, I fell to the floor and just played dead,” she told WISN 12 News. “I heard the first row of shots, and then I heard the second row of shots, and the third row of shots, then the shrapnel and bullets went into my feet.”
Barnhill added, “Even when the bullets was going in my feet, I did not move. Being retired from the air force, I knew that would be a sign that I was still alive. The police came, and they wouldn’t let me look at all, but I knew that my sister was not going to make it.”
Shirley Mallory, Barnhill’s 82-year-old sister, was killed in the attack; Mallory’s husband was also shot but is recovering from the bullets hitting his lower extremities and spinal cord. The third person injured was Barnhill’s friend, Ronnie, the gunman’s sister.
WISN reported that the suspected gunman set fire to his own house afterward and fled the scene.
“You know, when you’re lying there not knowing whether you’re going to live or die, and you’re in that situation, it’s a terrifying situation,” Barnhill said.
Despite the attack on those close to her, Barnhill said she is choosing to move on with her life and not hold on to anger.
“The only way I can find peace is I have to forgive him and go on with my life,” Barnhill said. “God is not finished with me yet. I just thank the Lord for saving my life.”
The Colorado woman hopes to walk again in nine to 12 weeks. In regards to how she’s doing, she says she’s not “fine” but “doing OK.”
So far, Milwaukee police claimed to know who the suspect is but have not made any arrests. Surveillance video captured the shooting.
Warning: Gunshots and screams are heard in the video.