Paralyzed veteran able to speak 7 months after drive-by shooting

Local News

A U.S. Air Force veteran is able to speak tonight several months after someone shot him in the neck during a drive-by shooting. Gibson was about to walk his dog, Poe.

Police say Gibson was standing in his own driveway when the shooting happened. Detectives still do not know who did it. 

Digging through pages of medical records, Felicia Walker-Hayes — Gibson’s fiancee — can’t remember how many times he has had surgery. 

“It was exhausting. Michael was not here locally, which a lot of people didn’t know — for a good reason. So after the initial accident, I didn’t work,” she said. 

Instead, Walker-Hayes took dozens of trips to Atlanta and Augusta. Gibson recovered there for weeks. “It was just different because ever since we met, we’ve never been apart,” she said. 

Seven months later, Gibson is back home. He can’t move anything below the chest. He is also working on getting back full movement in his fingers. But for the first time since the shooting, he can talk. 

“I’ve been through depression, anger, the ‘you’re going to have to help me.’ The trends where you go through the motions,” said Gibson. “A month or two ago, I just started to be okay.” 

But life is different. There’s a ramp out the front door. There are also new engagement photos on the mantle. And there’s worry that the person who hurt Gibson is still out there.

“Last I checked, they haven’t caught the guys and I’m okay with that. Eventually, they’re going to get caught. They’re criminals. They’re bad guys,” said Gibson.

People raised $17,000 for the couple to cover medical expenses and to buy a sleep-number bed, which makes it easier for Gibson to get into bed.

“Things can happen. Even in the safest neighborhoods. And don’t be afraid because it will all be okay in the end,” said Walker-Hayes.

Detectives know the suspect was driving a four-door sedan. If you know anything, call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020.

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