Shamiyah Laney survives gunshot wound to jaw

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

By Lizi Arbogast Gwin from Alex City Outlook

Shamiyah Laney was just having fun with her friends, dancing the night away.

The 17-year-old from Alexander City was attending the Sweet 16 birthday party of a friend in downtown Dadeville when disaster struck in the late hours of Saturday night. She left the party with a gunshot wound to the jaw.

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“It was fun, dancing, just a regular sweet 16 birthday party you would not expect to get shot up (at),” Laney said via Facebook messenger.

In mere seconds, everything went from fun to the unthinkable.

Amidst loud music, Laney said someone yelled, “Gun!” and everyone started running to the front door of Mahogany Masterpiece, a one-room dance studio on the 200 block of Broadnax Street in Dadeville.

“We was running because it stared (sic) shooting,” Laney said. “That’s what folks do yell gun and run … I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Upon hearing gunshots, Laney said she started running and tripped.

“As I tripped on the floor a bunch of people landed on me,” she said. “I ain’t even get to get out the door until the end. I didn’t know I was hit until I walked out the door tryna (sic) see what was going on. I was bleeding badly.”

According to Laney, there is only a front entrance at Mahogany, so when the shooting started, everyone inside was running toward one door.

After exiting the building, Laney made her way to the back of the building where her friend’s car was. She said she got into the vehicle with three other friends, two of whom had also been “hit twice, the other made it out completely safe,” Laney said.

From there, the group rushed in the friend’s vehicle to Lake Martin Community Hospital, where she was for more than two hours before being transferred to a hospital in Georgia for further treatment. On Sunday, Shamiyah was then transferred to the Grady Memorial Trauma Unit in Atlanta.

“Now I’m in a hospital in Atlanta with a fracture to one of my neck bones that connect (sic) to the spinal cord, a few missing teeth and the inside of my mouth fractured,” Shamiyah said. “These doctors in Atlanta are taking care of me. They have been (doing) everything they need to do, but emotionally I’m traumatized.”

When the confusion ended and Shamiyah realized she had been shot, she didn’t worry first about her safety. The only concern was calling her loved ones — in case it would be her last chance.

She first FaceTimed with her mom, granny then her aunt.

Shamiyah said she wanted to tell them, “I had been shot and if I ain’t tell them before I left with all my heart.”

“I am 17 and lucky to be alive,” Shamiyah said. “Thank God for another day.”

Her family and friends have been her biggest support system since the shooting. Shamiyah said she is physically hurting, she’s sleepy, and she feels in and out of it a lot. Her friends have visited her in the hospital, and she said through her trauma, every little nice thing counts right now.

“I just wanna thank everyone who has been by my Side this whole time from that one friend driving to the hospital and didn’t leave until she knew I was ok or the friends that took off my wig yesterday and gave me a bath,” Shamiyah said. “It just be (sic) the small things that count and to those who have lost a family member, stay strong and remember everything happens for a reason. Maybe that was our wake-up call.

“Stay strong my beautiful people and just remember the times y’all shared with them before they went to a better place.”