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Mother of 5 still suffering brain trauma after East Palatka shooting

'I just want someone to catch them for everyone's safety,' woman says

EAST PALATKA, Fla. – A woman said her life has been ruined after she was injured in a shooting while driving in East Palatka nearly five months ago. 

The shooting happened in late February, but the mother of five children told News4Jax on Friday that she's still suffering brain trauma and can't hold down a job because of injuries.

The woman, who wished to conceal her identity, hopes that by speaking out, someone who saw the person who shot her will come forward so she can feel some sort of justice. 

According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the woman was driving on State Road 207 on Feb. 25 when another vehicle pulled up next to her and someone inside opened fire.

"As I was driving through the light, I heard that noise and then I hear that screaming and I could feel all this blood," the victim said. 

The woman said the bullet went through her driver's side door and split apart. She said the headrest saved her life, but the shrapnel hit her in the head. 

She said the incident has ruined her life. The mother of five said she and her boyfriend no longer have a permanent place to live and she can't keep a job because of the injuries that she said the hospital seemed to not take seriously, initially. 

According to the investigation report, hospital officials said she "likely did not suffer any permanent damage."

"And that's when I got my with my neurologist and we were able to make some progress," she said. "But I'm stuck like this." 

The mother, whose oldest is 11 and youngest is 1, said the shooting has also affected her children.

"It's hard because mom's not as active with them and they don't get to be with mom all the time because it's a lot and I lost a lot of my memories," she said. "So that takes a toll on them."

She's also trying to keep under the radar by not publicly identifying herself because she's still not sure who shot into her SUV, and whether the shooter could still come after her.

"My main concern right now is finding these guys. I don't want them to do this to someone else. I've barely been able to survive this myself and I don't want someone else to go through it," the woman said. "I just want someone to catch them for everyone's safety."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 386-329-0800. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).


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