OMAHA, NE – The 16 year-old teen hit in a random shooting last month calls the event “life changing.” LaShana Westbrook was shot in a vehicle outside a convenience store near 72nd and Ames April 29. She sat down Thursday to talk about the incident, saying it’s put her on a new path.
Westbrook’s back was still bandaged from the bullets that hit her. Her family said the injuries would be life-long. One bullet traveled through an artery through her heart and lodged in her right lung, where it will remain. Her left lung also had a bullet in it.
“It's a life changing event. It's helped me look forward and stop looking back,” said the teen sitting between her pastor, Robert Hall of the Cathedral of Love Church and Barbara Robinson, of Impact One.
“She thinks differently, she has a different focus in life. The relationship with her family has improved significantly,” said Hall.
Westbrook said she had not learned lessons previously. At the time of the shooting she was wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet and on juvenile probation. Westbrook said she repeatedly denied her parents’ advice, but said the shooting refocused her on her family.
“Get away from the bad company,” said Westbrook. “You may think they're your friends. But at the end of the day all you need is your family. Friends come and go. They're here one day and gone that night. My family is always going to be there.”
“Anything that looks enticing is not good. We will be hoping that Lashana's voice will be loud and clear to those young girls and young boys,” said Robinson.
Three people were arrested in connection to the shooting, but Omaha Police continued their search for Montel Wood, 20, Thursday who they said was a suspect in the crime.
Westbrook’s church planned several fundraisers to help with the medical costs. The first is a pancake feed Saturday, June 7.