Left For Dead

Tracey Deel was shot a dozen times by two teens who wanted her car. She dragged herself the length of three football fields determined not to be just another homocide statistic.

Going to concerts used to be the biggest activity in Tracey's life. Now she'd rather stay home. "I've built myself a cave," she says. "I feel more comfortable here." Over her bed hangs a bullet-riddled copper angel.

Tracey has never owned a gun, but she wants to go get licensed to carry one with her at all times. Two weeks ago she went to her storage unit and got out her basketball. She shot hoops in the park near her house for an hour. She carefully watched the two or three boys in the distance. She left when they got too close.

The next morning, June 28, Tracey went to Starbucks by herself. She ordered a nonfat caramel latte to go and bought three sunflowers at Albertson's. She went home because she didn't feel comfortable enough to sit in the store. She put the flowers on the kitchen table, finished her coffee and brewed a fresh pot. Maybe now that both boys are locked away she can sit outside, drink her coffee and start to feel safe.

As a former paramedic, Rick Deel knew what a gunshot victim's chances were.
Deron Neblett
As a former paramedic, Rick Deel knew what a gunshot victim's chances were.

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