Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Woman Paralyzed by Stray Bullet Has Died, Her Family Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Woman Paralyzed by Stray Bullet Has Died, Her Family Says

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - Nearly one year after a St. Louis woman was paralyzed by a stray bullet that zipped through the back door of her mother's home, Tamara Collier's fight to survive has ended, her relatives said Sunday.

Collier, 25, died about 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Anthony's Medical Center, her family said. They don't know what caused her death. Her aunt, Carla Austin, said doctors told her Collier suffered a blood clot and her brain didn't receive oxygen for about 30 minutes.

"I'm just devastated because I was not expecting this," Austin said. "We're still trying to figure out what happened. We weren't expecting her to pass away."

Collier was paralyzed after being shot Sept. 1 while doing laundry at her mother's home in the 1400 block of North Ninth Street. Gunfire erupted outside and a stray bullet pierced a rear door, going through her neck and into a living room wall.

Two gang squad officers were also injured in the shooting at the Cambridge Heights Apartments. Police have said an officer fired a shot, but they believe Collier was hit by a bullet from the gunman's high-powered rifle.

While her injuries weren't immediately shared with the public at the frantic shooting scene, Collier eventually became a sympathetic face of St. Louis' gun violence problem. She had been shot randomly in her mother's home while catching up on laundry.

Multiple media outlets covered her story. Shortly after she was shot, then-Gov. Eric Greitens prayed over Collier at the hospital. Many people contributed money for her recovery and for her young children. But as the months went on and her health benefits thinned, Collier and her family expressed frustration with the low level of rehabilitation options. …

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