The University of Kentucky football fan who was shot in Columbia, S.C., while on a trip to see Saturday’s football game is still in a critical care unit, but was stable Sunday afternoon , her boyfriend said.
Jimmy Brannon and Denise Massey, who live in Paris, were in a popular entertainment district in Columbia when shots rang out early Saturday morning, leaving her critically injured.
Brannon said Sunday that tubes made it impossible for Massey to talk, “but she’ll open her eyes, she’ll grasp your hand, she knows you’re there.”
“I think we have some cause for optimism,” said Brannon.
The Columbia Police Department said four men and four women were wounded in the shootings in the city’s Vista entertainment district. Police said the victims’ conditions ranged from stable to critical. The State reported Saturday night that four people, all in their 20s, were arrested in connection with the shooting. Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said multiple rounds of gunfire rang out shortly after 2:10 a.m. on Saturday outside the Empire Supper Club at 920 Lady Street. Charges were filed against John Bates, 28; Jarvis Tucker, 26; Keveas Gallman, 28 and Maleik Houseal, 22; according to a news release by the Columbia Police Department.
Massey was shot in the cheek and the bullet exited the back of her head, Brannon said. Although Massey is facing medical challenges including a blood clot, Brannon said, physicians say the bullet did not damage some critical areas.
Brannon and Massey, 52, checked into their hotel at 9:15 p.m. Friday and decided to go eat at a restaurant called Pearlz Oyster Bar and later to the nearby Vista entertainment area.
Massey said they were not at the Supper Club, but at nearby establishments.
While walking outside to return to the hotel, Brannon took a photo of Massey sitting on a bench.
Brannon said as he headed to the car, he heard someone say “duck” and he heard gunshots.
Then he saw Massey on the ground. Brannon said he and Massey “never saw anything that looked like an altercation.”
UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and his wife, Connie, visited the couple Saturday afternoon in the hospital, Massey told the Herald-Leader Saturday.
Brannon said Sunday that the plan was for Massey to be brought to a Lexington hospital when possible.
“We appreciate everything that everybody’s doing,” Brannon said Sunday. “Continue to pray for her.”