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Rachelle Joseph, 34

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Waitress

Shot: Saturday night in fall 1993.

Where: Richmond nightclub.

That particular night we went to a club. It was a Saturday, and this was a different club than the one we usually been to, a little hole-in-the-wall club.

We were out having a good time and during the course of being there I saw a group of people come in that were known as troublemakers. Every time they showed up there was fight or something, so I was a little leery about being there, but we stayed anyway. After about 20 minutes they got in a fight with another guy. They were actually beating the guy.

My girlfriends ran into the bathroom, but I ran down the steps to get out of the club. I was running to the car across the street in the parking lot. It was my friend's car, but I had the keys.

I never heard the shot, really, but as my arm dropped I saw a guy turn the corner. When I looked back all I saw was black — I didn't really see anything. I don't know if I was in shock or what. I just kept on going and when I got to the car I couldn't lift my arm. It was just laying against my body straight down and I couldn't move it. I knew then that I had been shot.

The thing about it was, they weren't shooting at me. I came to find out the guy that they were after was right behind me and when he turned the corner, I kept running straight and [the bullet] caught me.

I wound up at the gas station and some girls who were coming out of the club at the same time saw me there. You know how you talk to the [attendants] through the window, and he said that he would call the ambulance. He eventually opened the door and they sat me down on the curb.

[The paramedics] wanted to cut my little jacket off and I said, "Don't cut it off" [laughs], but they didn't care what I was talking about, so they cut it.

It really hasn't changed my life in any drastic way or anything. I'm not in that scene. I stopped going to clubs altogether since, and the one or two times that I did go, I was just so scared. It shattered my elbow bone, so now I have pins in my elbow.

They never even caught them. I was like, well, they weren't trying to shoot me, the people that were there. I didn't see who shot me. I was through with it — it was over and done with.

It was like a .22[-caliber gun] and there are still fragments in there. I have 80 percent use of [my elbow] so [my arm] doesn't extend completely out, but I can do most anything with it. It was scary though. S



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