Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The boyfriend of one of the victims in this past weekend's shooting in Columbia's Vista says that at this point, he believes his girlfriend "is going to be okay."
Jimmy Brannon posted an update Tuesday on the condition of Denise Massey, who's currently still in a Columbia hospital receiving treatment.
"I can barely type this from shaking, and I don't know whether to run, jump, cry, scream," he wrote as he began the post.
The couple, who's from Kentucky, had come to town to watch last Saturday night's USC-Kentucky football game. They spent hours in the Vista enjoying themselves, eating in restaurants, and as Brannon put it, "having the time of their lives." But around 2 a.m. that morning, a gun battle broke out between two rival groups along Park Street in Columbia. Eight people were hit by gunfire, including Massey.
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Brannon says the bullet hit her on the cheek, shattering some bone, and exited the back of her neck, cutting a carotid artery. It narrowly missed her spinal cord.
She's been in critical condition at the hospital ever since the incident.
But Tuesday, Brannon said while there is still damage to the artery, there is adequate blood flow. The goal was to remove her breathing tube, and gradually reduce her pain medication.
If she continues to improve, she'll be hospitalized for a few more days, but then may be allowed to go directly home, and not to another trauma unit up in Kentucky. Once she returns to her home state, she will still need jaw surgery, but he said that's expected to be an outpatient procedure.
She'll also have to wear a neck brace for some time.
"From a cosmetic standpoint, the entry wound is not severe at all," he said. "She will be on a liquid diet for a few weeks. She will have to make regular scans for some time to monitor the artery/blood flow. And she will have to take aspirin for the rest of her life."
It's a far better place the couple's in now than Saturday morning, when he saw her covered in blood moments after the shooting.
"Thanks to all our friends in Bourbon County [Kentucky], big blue nation, new friends here in Columbia....thanks to you folks, and your prayers.....she is going to be okay. THANK GOD for this miracle."