Shooting Survivor Shares Story Of Recovery - - The News for South Mississippi

Shooting Survivor Shares Story Of Recovery

"OK, what kind of stone is this?" Dottie Lanier asked her son as she looked at the fireplace.

The 67-year-old great-grandmother is thrilled to be selling houses again.

"I enjoy people," said Lanier. "So it's a pleasure to go back to work."

It's hard to believe Lanier would return to her job as a real estate broker. This summer she nearly died doing what she loves.

"This man came running up the steps, and I was standing in the center of the living room," recalled Lanier.

On that fateful day, June 15th, Lanier was waiting for a man who had called her, wanting to see a house on Colville Street in Wiggins.

"He came through the door and said, 'hey baby,' and I felt this burning in my breast," Lanier said. "Then I saw the gun. He's standing in front of me and I see the gun, and I thought, 'Lord I've been shot. Is this the day I die?'"

Lanier was shot twice. One bullet went through both her breasts. The other went through her waist and came out the hip. Lanier says the suspected gunman, Gregory Ferguson of Biloxi, shot the homeowner's nephew, then fired at the homeowner - Tina Havard.

"Then I heard her saying, 'Please don't hurt me Greg, Please don't hurt me,'" Lanier said. "I grabbed the phone and said, 'There's a man in the house. We're on Colville. He's shooting everybody. He's going to kill us all.'"

A few minutes later, Lanier heard him walking through the living room.

"I laid down and took a deep breath and tried to look dead, at least unconscious," said Lanier.

The suspected gunman finally left.  Amazingly, Lanier felt no fear.

"I wasn't afraid," said Lanier. "I really didn't feel any pain. I didn't realize when I was shot. I felt more fear after it was over with. I'm thinking, 'Somebody's out there in the dark going to shoot me if they can see through the window.'"

Psychological counseling has helped Lanier overcome her anxieties.

"I thought that was the day I was going to heaven, but I didn't," Lanier said. "God's got a greater purpose, I guess. It's an experience I can't get out of my mind completely."

But Lanier won't let the terrifying ordeal ruin her life.

"Of course he is evil. He did an evil thing," Lanier said. "I'm not going to let that stop me and make me afraid to go out and do what I've enjoyed doing all these years. It's making me believe that it wasn't my time to go and there are other things I need to do still in this life. I just appreciate life and appreciate being able to enjoy my family."

The suspect, Gregory Ferguson, remains in the Stone County Jail under a $1.5 million bond. He faces murder and aggravated assault charges. The District Attorney's office is waiting to present the case to the grand jury.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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