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A mother of three from Chico, California gave her first interview Thursday after she and her children were shot multiple times by the California shooter Tuesday.
Tiffany Phommathep gave the interview from Enloe Medical Center where she continues to recover from gunshot wounds. She describes how the gunman pulled up to her vehicle and opened fire striking her five times and two of her children. Immediately after the shooting she screamed for help from passersby and no one stopped for 40 minutes until she was finally able to flag down a passing Sheriff, "I just started screaming and I told myself I need to stay awake, I need to stay awake…It broke my heart."
Phommathep described the moments leading up to the attack, "Right before I got to the stop sign, I felt a shaking in my car and I saw in a guy in a truck pull up to me and saw him pull out his rifle." The gunman was her neighbor, Kevin Neal, and she first thought he was in a hurry to pass her but instead he pulled out his assault rifle and opened fire on her vehicle.
Phommathep was shot five times, her ten-year-old son was shot in the leg twice, her seven-year-old was shot in the foot and her two-year-old sustained injuries from glass fragments. "I decided to keep on driving to the hospital, but my body was going numb and I couldn't hear anything but when I heard my kids cry I woke myself up again," Phommathep continued.
The cries of her children gave her the boost she needed to stay away and seek help despite being shot five times. One woman Phommathep pleaded with for help told her she was late for work and couldn't help. Another man said he would help but just drove off instead, "I said I'm shot, can you help me, my body's going numb I can't drive anymore and he said yes he'll make a U-turn but he just sped off and it just broke my heart."
It wasn't until 40 minutes after she and her family were shot that she finally found a sheriff vehicle driven by assistant sheriff Phil Johnston and flagged him down. "It took me a step out of my vehicle four times to four different individuals to get help, and I used all the strength that I had and when I finally stopped the sheriff I didn't have much strength to get out. I opened my door and told him to just check on my kids because no one was willing to help."
Thankfully, Phommathep and her three children survived the shooting and now have a Go Fund Me campaign to help raise funds for medical expenses.
"I'm just relieved that I'm still here to be with my kids and be here to see them grow up but I'm also hurt that this had to happen to me."
If you would like to show your support by donating, the Phommathep family Go Fund Me page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/4po8vq8
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