Shooting victim relives story 20 years later - WSPA.com

Shooting victim relives story 20 years later

Posted: Updated:
SNOW HILL, N.C. -

July 10, 1993. It's the day that transformed the life of a little girl who would be paralyzed for the rest of her life. Someone shot Talonda Lanier in the head. She and her family stopped at a rest stop off Interstate 40 in Winston Salem to take a nap. Sidet, Talonda's mother, remembers it as if it were yesterday.

"At first I didn't know if it was gun shot or not. My little sister was with and I asked her if everyone was ok. Talonda was whining and I kept calling for Talonda, but when she didn't answer me, that's when my sister said oh my god Sidet, she's bleeding."

Hours later, doctors told her that her daughter wouldn't make it to her seventh birthday. Sidet spent months in and out of hospitals caring for Talonda. But despite early predictions, she defied the odds and became partially paralyzed.  She's now 26 years old.

"I remember when I was in the hospital and I was getting physical therapy and I didn't want any help. I figured that I could do it by myself. I was trying to be independent and I didn't want any help." Talonda said.

That's how she would live the rest of her life, determined to succeed and to overcome any obstacles that came her way.

"The accident happened at 6 and by 7 or 8 she was trying to run behind other kids. She'd fall, cry, hurt her knee and try to do it again." Sidet said.

But the emotional toll was daunting. Both wondered why they were the ones who had fallen victims to this crime. Shannon Huffman and Michael Barber pled guilty to attempted murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"I've learned how to forgive them. It took me a while. But I forgave them because I could have died, and it's better to forgive those who hurt you and move forward." Talonda said.

In 2005, Sidet had a stroke and is now paralyzed on her left side. So, it's all now come full circle. Talonda helps her mother, showing how to live with disability and serving as an inspiration to everyone.

She told 9 On Your Side that she hopes to graduate from college with a degree in criminology, so she can become an advocate for victims of similar crimes.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Former Police Officer Faces Domestic Violence Charges

    Former Police Officer Faces Domestic Violence Charges

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:49:19 GMT
    SLED says Christopher Whitfield faces criminal domestic violence charges.SLED says Christopher Whitfield faces criminal domestic violence charges.
    SLED says a former Williamston officer faces criminal domestic violence charges.
    SLED says a former Williamston officer faces criminal domestic violence charges.
  • Deputies Investigate Spartanburg Armed Robbery

    Deputies Investigate Spartanburg Armed Robbery

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:26:38 GMT
    Surveillance picture of suspect in armed robbery at the Lil' Cricket.Surveillance picture of suspect in armed robbery at the Lil' Cricket.
    Deputies looking for clues in the armed robbery of a Lil' Cricket in Spartanburg Wednesday.
    Deputies looking for clues in the armed robbery of a Lil' Cricket in Spartanburg Wednesday.
  • Crash In Cherokee Co. Kills One Person

    Crash In Cherokee Co. Kills One Person

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:01:26 GMT
    The 51-year-old male from Cowpens was trapped inside the vehicle and extracted, authorities say.The 51-year-old male from Cowpens was trapped inside the vehicle and extracted, authorities say.
    One person is dead after a crash in Cherokee County Friday.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol says it happened around 4:30 p.m. on East Cudd Road, two miles south of Chesnee.
    One person is dead after a crash in Cherokee County Friday.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol says it happened around 4:30 p.m. on East Cudd Road, two miles south of Chesnee.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.