Congratulations are in order.
That’s because the Kentucky football fans who came to Columbia, before one was injured in a shooting, have gotten engaged.
“Denise Massey said YES!” Jimmy Brannon, Massey boyfriend-turned-fiancé, wrote on Facebook, before following with another post of Massey’s engagement ring-wearing hand saying, “It’s official.”
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Massey and Brannon, who live in Paris, have been through an ordeal. Massey was one of eight people shot when gunfire erupted outside the Empire Supper Club in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 16.
She and Brannon, were in town for the University of Kentucky’s football game against the University of South Carolina.
Brannon followed with posts of romantic songs, including “We found Love,” by Rihanna and “So happy Together,” by The Turtles.
Of the Rihanna song, Brannon wrote, “Denise Massey, I always liked this song, and even though we had already discussed a life together before Columbia. …this is still a good song.”
News of their engagement has been cheered on Facebook. The multiple posts have received hundreds of “likes or reactions,” and hundreds more comments. Most have offered their congratulations.
The engagement is far from the only good news Massey has received as she continues to recover from the shooting. She has been OK’d to be released from the hospital’s intensive care unit, but her release date is still unknown, according to Brannon.
Massey suffered a gunshot wound to the cheek area. The bullet shattered some bone and exited the back of her neck without damaging her spinal cord, according to Brannon.
Massey suffered a “pinching” of the carotid artery which caused a blood clot, according to Brannon, adding doctors are trying to dissolve the clot with blood thinners, as they try to avoid surgery.
He also wrote that Massey needs surgery to repair the injury she suffered to her right jaw, and is suffering from a possible visual condition in her right eye.
As of Friday, Massey sat upright in a chair, could talk well and could walk well with assistance.
Massey “recalls the wonderful time we were having, friendly people we met,” on the night of the shooting, Brannon wrote.
Before the shooting, Brannon said the pair were “having the time of our lives.” Brannon said he and Massey had checked into a Columbia hotel about 9:15 p.m. Friday and decided to eat at Pearl’s Oyster Bar, in a telephone interview with the Herald-Leader.
“We then went to the Vista neighborhood and met the nicest people,” he said. “We were talking about politics and football and having a good time. It was a very nice place, you could have brought kids there.”
The man accused of shooting Massey, John Earl Bates Jr., faces seven counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting, which Columbia police say stemmed from disputes among groups in the music industry.
Three others have been charged alongside Bates: Maleik Houseal, Keveas Gallman and Jarvis Tucker.
Police have permanently shut down the Empire Supper Club, the nightclub where the dispute originated that night.