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Woman shot in leg shares story
[April 08, 2011]

Woman shot in leg shares story

Apr 08, 2011 (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A white blanket covered Debbie Hill's recent gunshot wound to the leg as she lay in a dimly lit hospital room Thursday morning and apologized to the community, her neighbors and her family.

Tears streamed from the 55-year-old woman's eyes as she described what she thought happened late Tuesday morning when she called 911 in hysterics about two intruders in her Southwest Lubbock home in the 5900 block of 72nd Street.

She told police that day that two men attacked her and then shot her in the leg, but investigators said the next day there was no evidence to support those claims.

"Investigators say that didn't happen, but to me that's what happened," Hill said. "I can't tell you for sure if it happened, but I can tell you it happened in my mind." After a pause, her voice cracked as she said: "I'm so confused right now. ... I don't even understand it." To her, it was all so very real, said Hill, who appeared in distress Thursday at University Medical Center as she talked about the severe depression she has suffered for years, the new medication she started last week and the really bad headache she woke up with Tuesday.

The experience was terrifying, she said, and the aftermath has been even worse as she's come to realize what a big problem she has and how the shooting incident has affected her family and the community.

"I'm so, so very sorry," Hill said, as tears continued to fall from her eyes. "I'm devastated by all this. I just don't know what else to say, but I'm sorry." The ordeal has been very difficult on her family, she said. And she knows the shooting has caused panic and fear throughout Lubbock, especially for her neighbors.

She said she also realizes the fact she described the attackers as Hispanic has offended some Hispanic residents.

But, in her mind, the attackers were Hispanic, she said.

Hill recalls them as having hoodies, but she's not sure where the "ski-mask" description came from since she doesn't remember that and doesn't remember telling police that.

When she woke up Tuesday morning, she had a terrible headache.

She said she went into her garage to tinker with a new barbeque grill she had recently bought.

Hill said she then saw two boys come around the back of her vehicle in the driveway. She said they asked for money because they claimed they were hungry.

She told them she didn't have any money. They said: "You gotta have some money in the house." Then she remembers them chasing her inside. She ran to the bedroom where she keeps the gun.

She said one of them grabbed her by the hand just after she grabbed the gun.

"I was just hysterical," Hill said.

Then the gun went off.

She reached for her cell phone, which was lying nearby.

"I remember screaming and I couldn't hear what they were saying on the other end of the phone," Hill said.

In the 911 recording, the call started with screaming and crying.

She screamed: "Get out of my house" and "Get away from me," according to the recording and call sheet records.

She also was screaming as she was taken from her home on a stretcher to the ambulance.

On Thursday, Hill said she was still trying to deal with what happened and how it happened.

She doesn't know why it happened, but said she thought it had to do with the severe depression she has battled for four years.

Some days are OK, she said. Others, she hardly has the energy to get out of bed.

"It's so hard to explain to people," Hill said.

She said she has been seeing a doctor and has been on medication for the severe depression, but Hill said she realizes she needs more treatment.

She plans to get that treatment as soon as possible.

She said she hopes one day she will be well and be able to help others dealing with depression because she knows how awful it can be.

But she's going to concentrate right now on getting better, she said from her hospital bed Thursday -- two days after she was shot in the leg, in what has been described by her family as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police have not confirmed Hill's injury was self-inflicted and hadn't released any other details Thursday about what they thought really happened Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Jonathan Stewart said police were still conducting their investigation.

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