Shooting victim relives story 20 years later - WNCN: News, Weather

Shooting victim relives story 20 years later

Posted: Updated:
SNOW HILL, N.C. -

July 10, 1993. It's the day that transformed the life of a little girl who would be paralyzed for the rest of her life. Someone shot Talonda Lanier in the head. She and her family stopped at a rest stop off Interstate 40 in Winston Salem to take a nap. Sidet, Talonda's mother, remembers it as if it were yesterday.

"At first I didn't know if it was gun shot or not. My little sister was with and I asked her if everyone was ok. Talonda was whining and I kept calling for Talonda, but when she didn't answer me, that's when my sister said oh my god Sidet, she's bleeding."

Hours later, doctors told her that her daughter wouldn't make it to her seventh birthday. Sidet spent months in and out of hospitals caring for Talonda. But despite early predictions, she defied the odds and became partially paralyzed.  She's now 26 years old.

"I remember when I was in the hospital and I was getting physical therapy and I didn't want any help. I figured that I could do it by myself. I was trying to be independent and I didn't want any help." Talonda said.

That's how she would live the rest of her life, determined to succeed and to overcome any obstacles that came her way.

"The accident happened at 6 and by 7 or 8 she was trying to run behind other kids. She'd fall, cry, hurt her knee and try to do it again." Sidet said.

But the emotional toll was daunting. Both wondered why they were the ones who had fallen victims to this crime. Shannon Huffman and Michael Barber pled guilty to attempted murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"I've learned how to forgive them. It took me a while. But I forgave them because I could have died, and it's better to forgive those who hurt you and move forward." Talonda said.

In 2005, Sidet had a stroke and is now paralyzed on her left side. So, it's all now come full circle. Talonda helps her mother, showing how to live with disability and serving as an inspiration to everyone.

She told 9 On Your Side that she hopes to graduate from college with a degree in criminology, so she can become an advocate for victims of similar crimes.

  • Most Recent SlideshowsMore>>

  • A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:33:30 GMT
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
  • Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:02:20 GMT
    Southern California is seeing the kind of epic surf usually associated with Hawaii or Tahiti. Beaches are thronged with wave riders and crowds are coming to watch the action even as seaside communities try to stave...
    High surf generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific rolled onto Southern California beaches again Thursday, showing signs of diminishing but still bringing warnings of possible property damage and dangerous...
  • Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:09:08 GMT
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the...
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history...
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.