Mother describes home invasion attack: 'I felt like I was going - - Columbia, South Carolina

Mother describes home invasion attack: 'I felt like I was going to die'

Woman attacked in home invasion describes the incident Woman attacked in home invasion describes the incident

The cast on her right hand is one visual reminder of the horror a West Columbia woman says she and her 6-year-old daughter endured in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 13.

"In the end, if I had died, so be it. But as long as she was okay, that was my main goal," she said.

For privacy reasons, we are not identifying the woman, who was shot several times in the upper body.

She tells WIS the bullets missed her vital organs.

"Me and my baby were in the bed together," she said. "I just kind of opened my eyes and when I did, I saw him standing there with a gun, pointing it."

A stranger was in her home. Demanding. Threatening.

"I just explained to him, 'I don't have anything,'" she said. "'I don't have any money. Please don't hurt me. Please don't hurt my child.'"

Instead, she said he tried to sexually assault her.

"He instructed me to undress and I said, 'Please, can she go in the living room?' Somewhere where she doesn't have to witness what's about to happen."

She was willing to sacrifice herself so her daughter could be safe. But he turned to target the child after seeing the mother on her menstrual cycle.

"He instructed her to come out the closet and take her clothes off," said the mother. "At that point I already knew what he was about to do. He would have done best to shoot me in the head than for me to sit there and listen to him sexually assault her. It was just running through my mind, 'I can't allow this to happen.'"

So she made a choice and grabbed the gun.

"It was no turning back," she said. "I took all of my weight and put it on him. We actually ended up going from the bedroom into the hallway, into my bathroom. And he just kept repeating 'Let go! Let go! I'm going to shoot you. I'm going to shoot you.' And I just couldn't let go. And that's when he let off with the shots."

She took a risk and fought because her life and her daughter's depended on it.

"I could feel the bullets inside me. I felt like I was going to die," she said.

The day after the attack occurred, she was supposed to start a job at Lexington Medical Center. She lost the job opportunity, but LMC said they will wait until she heals and then they will help her based on what openings they have at that time.

The man charged in the attack, 31-year-old Nathaniel Hunter, was denied bond Wednesday. The circuit court judge called Hunter a danger to the community.

Hunter was out on bond for a 2006 murder at the time of this incident in West Columbia. That 2006 incident was in Fairfield County in December 2006 when Carlon Castillo and Christopher Fuller were killed. Hunter is charged with murder in Castillo's death.

Fairfield County deputies arrested Hunter in January 2007 for first-degree burglary and a weapons charge, but it wasn't until April 2007 that they charged him with murder. According to court documents, Hunter claims his cell-mate in the county jail gave a false statement to investigators, saying Hunter confessed to Castillo's murder, on the same day that an arrest warrant was issued for the murder. That same jail roommate later sent a letter to the Clerk of Court, recanting his statement, saying he lied because he was angry at his cell-mate.

Hunter's murder charge has not gone to trial because of what the solicitor calls "factual and legal issues." No one has been charged in Fuller's death.

He's now charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct.

The day after all this happened, she was supposed to start a new job at Lexington Medical Center.

She lost the job opportunity because the hospital was unaware of the extenuating circumstances.

Lexington Medical Center Public Relations Director Jennifer Wilson said, the hospital will wait until the victim heals and then they will help her, based on what openings they have at that time.

The victim tells WIS she was given a recovery time of between two and four months.

To donate to help this woman's recovery:

C/O L.S.

P.O. Box 1029

Columbia, SC 29202


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