88-year-old says she survived shooting by playing dead

Francis Akhalbey August 31, 2022
Carrie Barnhill said she played dead to survive a shooting -- Image via WISN

An 88-year-old woman, who was shot six times when a gunman opened fire on her and three other elderly people, said she survived the near-fatal incident by playing dead. According to WISN, the gunman who shot at Carrie Barnhill and the other victims was a neighbor.

The shooting left one person dead and three others – including Barnhill – injured. Following the shooting, police allege the suspect moved to his home next door and set it on fire. 

The 88-year-old woman told the news outlet that she was sitting outside with the other victims when the gunman opened fire on them. She said she had traveled from Colorado to Milwaukee to visit family.

“I’m not fine, but I’m doing OK,” Barnhill said. “It was my sister, Ronnie, my friend, and also the gentleman who shot us’ sister,” she added.

The incident was captured on surveillance footage. Barnhill said she applied her military experience when the gunman shot at them. 

“Being in the military, I fell to the floor and just played dead,” she said. “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 said five bullets struck her feet while one bullet struck her leg. “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,” she recalled.

Barnhill’s sister, Shirley Mallory, did not survive the shooting. The deceased woman’s husband was also one of the victims. Barnhill said several bullets hit his spinal cord and lower extremities, WISN reported.

“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.

And though Barnhill lost her sister, she said she still forgives the gunman. “The only way that I can find peace is I have to forgive him and go on with my life. God is not finished with me yet. I just thank the lord for saving my life,” she said. 

No arrests had been made at the time of this report. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 31, 2022


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