WJTV News Channel 12 - Shooting victim relives story 20 years later

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>>

  • Cleanup follows heavy storms in Phoenix area

    Cleanup follows heavy storms in Phoenix area

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:03:38 GMT
    Workers at a farm saw hundreds of cactuses sweep away in a flood. Drivers on Arizona's main north-south freeway watched in shock as muddy waters submerged the road. Rescuers across the state rushed to save...
    Residents began cleaning up Wednesday from devastating flooding that slammed Arizona a day earlier, trapping people in vehicles and homes and destroying up to $2 million worth of inventory at a cactus nursery north of...
  • Son of Beaufort Co. woman found dead in fire charged with murder

    Son of Beaufort Co. woman found dead in fire charged with murder

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:11:41 GMT
    The Beaufort County Sheriff's Department has arrested a man suspected of killing his mother.
    The Beaufort County Sheriff's Department has arrested a man suspected of killing his mother.
  • 36 dead, 7 missing in Hiroshima landslide

    36 dead, 7 missing in Hiroshima landslide

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:57 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:57:04 GMT
    Rain-sodden slopes collapsed in torrents of mud, rock and debris early Wednesday in the outskirts of Hiroshima, killing at least 10 people and leaving 22 missing, the government said.
    Rain-sodden slopes collapsed in torrents of mud, rock and debris Wednesday on the outskirts of Hiroshima city, killing at least 36 people and leaving seven missing, Japanese police said.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

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