Nanaimo woman recovering from shotgun injury after intervening in friend's suicide attempt
VICTORIA -- A Nanaimo woman remains at Vancouver General Hospital and is facing more surgeries after she came to a friend’s assistance on the weekend and ended up getting shot in the face while preventing a suicide.
Jason Culley says his partner, Regina Hampson, will require another surgery today to take shrapnel out of her eye which has severed her retina. Tuesday’s surgery will then determine what the next steps for the Nanaimo woman will be.
“They haven’t offered much hope in terms of recuperating the vision but if they’re going to call for more surgeries that means there’s something to work with, so we’re hoping they find something to work with,” Culley told CTV News on Tuesday.
A Facebook post by Culley says Hampson came to the assistance of their roommate, who was attempting to take his own life on Saturday morning. During the encounter, Hampson was shot and may lose sight out of her right eye and could also possibly lose one of her thumbs.
Culley says they don’t believe the roommate meant any harm to his partner.
“Our friend was just that…our friend! We wish him peace and hope that this tragedy allows him to seek shelter from his deep depression,” the post reads. “I’m sorry we didn’t see this coming…. We know it wasn’t intentional and you were nothing but a great friend.”
The roommate fled the home but was located a short time later according to Const. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
“He was located a short distance away. He was apprehended under the mental health act with no incidents and he’s receiving the care he requires,” O'Brien said
Friends of the couple have now created a GoFundMe campaign which has already raised a significant amount towards its $35,000 goal by Tuesday afternoon.
“The spirits of everyone around us are overwhelmingly supportive and you find out how many friends you have in a situation like this,” said Cullen.
“Regina is having a hard time coping with it, she’s having a hard time seeing the positives in this,” he said.
He says he was in the very same Vancouver hospital in critical condition for three-and-a-half months and says he knows the road through it and will help Hampson as well.
“It certainly helps knowing that we have all the love and support from our hometown and our friends and family. I hope that that breaks through to Regina and lifts her spirits as well,” he says.
The RCMP say there were three firearms in the home that were seized for safekeeping and there has been no decision on whether or not there will be any charges laid in connection to the incident.
O'Brien says Hampson was injured accidently while trying to intervene in the suicide, an action police recommend against.
“We do not recommend trying to pull or take a firearm away from somebody because there can be tragic consequences. Fortunately her injures are not life-threatening and nobody was killed in this, but there could have been a fatality,” said the constable.