In the early hours of the morning on July 8, 13-year-old Aalayah Fulmore was asleep in her bed in the family’s apartment in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.
At around 2:50 a.m., gunfire rang out. A bullet tore through the apartment wall and hit the sleeping teen, striking her in the abdomen.
The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office posted about the incident on July 10, asking for the public’s help in identifying the mystery shooter.
“The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is investigating a shooting which occurred during the morning hours of Friday, July 8th, 2022,” their post read.
“At approximately 2:50 AM, a call was received by our Communications Center that a shooting had occurred at the Patriots Place apartments off of Zion Church Rd, Concord, N.C.
“Upon arrival by Patrol units, it was discovered that a 13 year old female was struck by a bullet when unknown suspect(s) fired into her apartment. At this time, her condition is critical. It is believed that the victim and her family were not the intended target and are innocent victims.”
According to a GoFundMe set up for the family, Aalayah had a number of complications stemming from that stray bullet and the odds were stacked against her.
“Her daughter was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery, during which her large intestine had to be removed,” the GoFundMe reads. “She has received over 30 units of blood, is now intubated in the ICU, and is in critical condition.”
Aalayah’s mother is also a nursing assistant whose friends say she is selfless and kind. People have donated over $10,000 to the fundraiser to help with the costs associated with this tragic accident.
But all the money in the world wouldn’t guarantee the teen’s healing. Throughout the ordeal, the family maintained their faith, knowing that God was ultimately in control and publicly recognizing His hand in their situation.
“Although it’s going to be a marathon, she is running this race like the track star she is,” Aaliyah’s aunt, Rosalind Richmond, posted on Facebook July 15. “She is [awake], she is alert, she is using those motor skills and those five senses. She is even ready to watch a movie, and she is still fighting and pushing through every obstacle that comes her way.
“Only God can turn a tragic situation like this around because He always, always has the very last say. Only He can put life back into someone’s heart that stopped.
“We thank God for her life right now because she is still here when they said they couldn’t do anything else on last Friday.”
After two months of treatment, healing, and prayer, Aalayah was able to finally go home from the hospital. She was welcomed with a backyard barbecue.
“Thanks, to God first, then thanks to the Doctors, nurses, assistants, preachers, churches, family and friends who helped our family survive this terrible tragedy,” Aalayah’s grandmother, Judy Faye Fulmore-Gamble shared on Facebook.
“After 60 Days in the hospital with un-controllable internal bleeding for a week, kidneys unable to work for 3 or 4 weeks, part of her intestine removed, 7 major surgeries, flat lined 3 times and on life support for weeks, Aalayah finally got to go home today. Love to all.”
“It was just … a lot,” mom Stacy Fulmore told WBTV. “It was like an emotional rollercoaster.”
“A miracle,” Richmond added. “Only a miracle. We never gave up. We just said she’s going to make it … and she made it.”
The family still wants answers and hopes a suspect will be identified and brought to justice so something similar won’t happen to anyone else. The police have not said whether or not there are any people of interest yet.
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