Woman, 88, Who Lost Sister in Milwaukee Tragedy Says God Saved Her Own Life
One woman's world turned upside down unexpectedly when an act of violence led to devastating consequences. After the traumatizing ordeal, she had an important message to share.
The world has good and evil, and while many try to focus on the positive side of things, it isn't always possible. Tragedy can strike anytime, as it did for one woman and her sister.
The duo was enjoying an evening at home with family when the unthinkable happened. The woman's years in the military helped her survive, as did her faith in God.
Carrie Barnhill. | Source: Youtube.com/FOX6 News Milwaukee
A FAMILY'S WORST NIGHTMARE
Carrie Barnhill, 88, was spending time with her sister, Shirley Mallory, 86, in Colorado Springs, and they were having a great time. They laughed and socialized along with Shirley's husband, Ivory Mallory, 85, and another family friend.
However, an evening of chatting and fun quickly became their worst nightmare. The four were shocked and terrified when an unknown person fired 12 gunshots at their home.
The family's neighborhood. | Source: Youtube.com/FOX6 News Milwaukee
HER MILITARY TRAINING CAME IN HANDY
Holding back tears, Barnhill explained that she worked in the Air Force and learned specific skills during the fifties and sixties. She said:
"I was waiting for the next shots. When I heard the first shots, I fell flat on the floor and played dead. I had no idea that was still instilled in me."
She continued: "You know when you're laying there, not knowing whether you're going to live or die, and you're in that situation, it's a terrifying situation." She remained still until she was confident it was safe to move.
Carrie Barnhill. | Source: Youtube.com/FOX6 News Milwaukee
The group only saw the shooter briefly, and he managed to injure Barnhill's brother-in-law -- he tried to check on his wife, who was in the direct line of fire. Ivory and the family friend were hurt during the ordeal, while Barnhill suffered injuries to her feet.
While Barnhill was still heartbroken and grieving, she wanted the traumatic experience to make a difference in other people's lives.
She kept thinking about her life and prayed for survival. Miraculously, she wasn't injured fatally—but the same couldn't be said for all her family members.
SHE WAS GRATEFUL TO GOD
Tragically, Barnhill's sister Shirley was killed, leaving family and friends shattered. While the family wants justice, they focus on healing and moving forward.
Barnhill doesn't want the shooter to take anything else from her, including her peace. The older woman said:
"The only way that I can find peace is I have to forgive him and go on with my life. God is not finished with me yet. So, I just thank the Lord for saving my life."
She was grateful to God for saving her and believed that He still had a purpose for her life. The woman of faith also had an important message to share with the world.
While Barnhill was still heartbroken and grieving, she wanted the traumatic experience to make a difference in other people's lives. She hoped the incident would encourage others to seize the day. The older woman noted:
"Enjoy your life. Life is so fleeting."
She remembered her sister as someone who had "a catching personality." She also described her as "wonderful" and expressed her deep love for Shirley.
HER RECOVERY IS ONGOING
Greg Mallory lost his mom, Shirley, and was devastated but tried to remain strong. He expressed: "I'm trying not to let this be just another homicide." Barnhill said doctors were hopeful that she would be able to walk again.
She also kept repeating, "I'm thankful. I'm thankful, I'm thankful, I'm thankful." However, she was still recovering emotionally and shared: "I'm not fine, but I'm doing OK."
Greg Mallory. | Source: Youtube.com/FOX6 News Milwaukee
PRAYING FOR THE SUSPECT
Police and ambulances rushed to the scene and later reported that a home in the same area was set alight. They believe it is linked to the suspected shooter.
At the end of August 2022, authorities had not released the name of their suspect. However, he was known by the family. Barnhill said:
"I pray for him. I love him. But I don't have to like what he did."
THE ONLINE REACTION
Netizens had much to say about the ordeal, and many were shocked by the unprovoked violence. Online community members called the attack "wrong" and also offered condolences and prayers:
"Hope for a speedy recovery. I am so sorry for your loss. This woman shouldn't have to use her military instincts while on vacation or ever in our own country."
- (Jody Ruszczynski) August 29, 2022
"Such a heartbreaking story! So sorry for your sister's passing!"
- (Stormy Mercadel) August 29, 2022
"God bless you. The paramedics and firefighters that responded are true heroes. May you have a full recovery."
- (Christina Marie) August 29, 2022
"So sad prayers for you all healing and justice be served."
- (Rosetta Nat Jefferson) August 29, 2022
Barnhill and her family faced an unexpected and shocking act of violence. As senior citizens, they are vulnerable members of society and should not have to experience what they did—nor should anyone else.
Our thoughts and prayers go to the family as they heal and grieve during this painful time. RIP, Shirley.
Click here for a story about a woman who also lost a loved one during a horrific shooting. She grieved the passing of her fiancé and tried to move on. Thankfully, her sadness turned to joy when she found love again.
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