Shooting victim's daughter optimistic about mother's recovery - - Jackson, MS

Shooting victim's daughter optimistic about mother's recovery

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - On Wednesday, two armed men robbed and shot a Jackson woman as she was taking trash containers to a friend's house.

The daughter of that victim says she never would have thought it could happen to someone in her family.

"I thought I was a cautious person, and I know my mother has always been somewhat prepared. She's carried spray in her car," Tress Temple Gardner said. "You know, we keep our doors locked. We do all of that."

Gardner said she still hasn't been able to fully realize what unfolded Wednesday night when two men robbed and shot her mother, 69-year-old Carolyn Temple, outside a friend's house in Belhaven.

"I always sympathized with the people that I've seen on the news or heard of families in this situation, but until you're in it, there's no way to begin to explain what it feels like," Gardner said.

Gardner's mother had gone to a friend's house that night, and seeing the trash cans on the curb, decided to pull them up to the house.

It's something of a pet peeve of hers, Gardner said.

During that time, two men robbed and shot her, stealing her purse.

Temple remains hospitalized at UMMC in Jackson, having already gone through two surgeries to repair the damage from a bullet that went through her hand and into her abdomen.

That bullet has not yet been removed. 

It's firmly lodged in a canal between Temple's L1 and L2 vertebra.

"She got very lucky, and that's one thing that the surgeons told us after the surgery," Gardner said. "It nicked her pancreas, it nicked her liver, but it totally missed her stomach. There are so many areas that it could have gone wrong, but it didn't."

On Saturday morning, Jackson police caught a break. 

A woman running in the Mississippi Blues Marathon spotted Temple's purse on Frontage Road near St. Dominic Hospital.

Now, JPD is analyzing that purse for prints, hoping to find a clue that will lead them to an arrest.

Still, Wednesday's events leave Gardner forever changed, especially in light of a recent rash of shootings in Jackson the last few days.

"I realize that if these people are caught, it's not gonna stop what's going on in our city, but the more aware people are, the less another family will have to go through what we've gone through and what other families are apparently, especially in the last couple of nights, are going through as well at this point in time."

Gardner said Temple's condition is improving each day, though at this point, the long-term mental and physical damage is hard to determine.

"She's fighting like we all know she can, and, apparently, now that she's got the ventilator out, she's talking. She's bossing people around again, so you know, as long as she still has that fight in her, we're absolutely hopeful that she'll pull out of this," Gardner said.

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