An Indianapolis woman believes a higher power helped her and her two young great-granddaughters survive a shooting this week.
Before stray bullets from a gun battle ripped through her car, Charlotte Thompson didn’t even know what gunfire sounded like.
“I’d never heard a gunshot,” she said.
She was sitting at a red light around 7 p.m. Monday when the fight broke out.
“We heard this pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” Thompson said. "Then Shyann said, ‘Oh! I’m shot!’”
Her 10-year-old great granddaughter was sitting in the back seat, shot in the stomach.
“I turned around and looked and she raised up her shirt and I could see the bullet,” Thompson said. "I could see where it went in and where it went out.”
Thompson’s other great granddaughter, 13-year-old Jaelyn, was in the backseat, too — on the driver’s side.
“She was crying, too, because she thought she was shot, too,” Thompson said.
Police later showed Thompson the path the bullet took through her car. She now believes that path was guided by God.
“Came through the door, hit her, then it went to the Bible,” she said. The Bible was sitting on the seat between the two girls. “It went in here and come out here and it shredded my Sunday School book. The word of God slowed the bullet so that it didn’t kill anybody.”
A watermelon Jaelyn was holding in her lap eventually stopped the bullet.
“Right in the watermelon. Didn’t come out of the watermelon,” Thompson said. “The word of God and the Lord’s power saved. He sent the bullet into the watermelon.”
She said that both her granddaughters are OK and that eventually Shyann’s bullet wound would heal. However, she now worries about the emotional scars the girls will carry with them.
“It took away her innocence,” she said of Shyann. “You know, she trusted everybody. Now she trusts nothing and nobody.”
Emily Longnecker is a reporter for NBC affiliate WTHR-TV of Indianapolis.