A Kentucky football fan in South Carolina for Saturday’s game has been hospitalized after she was struck with a stray bullet in a shooting that injured eight people in Columbia’s Vista entertainment district Friday night.
Denise Massey and her boyfriend, Jimmy Brannon, made a spontaneous Friday afternoon decision to travel from Paris, Ky., where they live, to South Carolina to watch the Wildcats. As Brannon put it, “It was really a spur of the moment thing. I had a wild hair about coming down here, so I called her at 2:00 and told her if she can be ready by 2:30, we can be down there by 9:30. She said, ‘Sure! We can do it.'”
The couple got to Columbia as planned, Brannon said, and had a great time meeting new people and socializing around the popular Vista area of town. Then the shooting occurred as they were walking back to their hotel room for the night, and Massey, an innocent bystander, was wounded in the gunfire.
Brannon recounted how it happened on Facebook:
I spoke with Brannon via phone on Saturday and he told me the bullet stuck Massey’s cheek area and exited through the back of her head; but, miraculously, did not strike the spinal column.
“She has no neurological dysfunction,” he said. “She can move all extremities, everything works, all that. So that’s great news.”
UK president Eli Capilouto, athletic director Mitch Barnhart and South Carolina’s school president have all reached out. Mark Stoops is also aware and very concerned, as well as some of the UK players, who Brannon said were very touched once they heard the news.
Police are still investigating, but no arrests have been made at this time.
Here are 2 vehicles of interest in connection w/the Vista shooting. A Mustang & BMW. The passenger (s) may have info that can help us. pic.twitter.com/2Uit1i0c3x
— Cola Police Dept. SC (@ColumbiaPDSC) September 16, 2017
Massey remains in ICU in Columbia with Brannon by her side, wondering how someone so innocent could get caught on the wrong end of something like this.
“It’s a shame these things seem to always happen to good people,” he said. “Nobody wants it to happen to anybody, but it seems it always happens to somebody that would never do anybody wrong over anything. And that breaks your heart.”
“Denise is one that, just everybody likes her. She’s wouldn’t do anything wrong to anybody, period. It’s a shame that somebody like that has to go through this.”