Fort Worth

Blood rushed out of her as if 'someone was pouring red Kool-Aid out.' Then he kissed her

Heather Teter survived a shotgun blast to her chest on May 3, but she remains terrified because the suspect has not been arrested.
Heather Teter survived a shotgun blast to her chest on May 3, but she remains terrified because the suspect has not been arrested.

As she fell to the floor, Heather Teter touched her side and her hand was full of blood.

"I turned to my side and you could see a huge hole with my tissue hanging out," the 29-year-old said after suffering a shotgun blast on May 3. "The blood was rushing out fast."

Teter claimed her abusive ex-boyfriend shot her as the two argued at a Fort Worth residence last month.

"I begged for an ambulance," she wrote in an account on a fundraising website while in a local hospital with her sister. She verified several details of that account in a brief interview with the Star-Telegram. "He ran to the phone and I thought thank God finally!! He was just calling for a ride. My heart dropped."

When his ride showed up, Teter said, he finally called 911 and said, "I need an ambulance my girlfriend shot herself."

He bent down, said, "I love you," kissed her and left.

As for Teter, she spent more than three weeks at a Fort Worth hospital and underwent nine surgeries before she was released last week.

On Wednesday, Teter was in hiding.

"It's put our family in fear," her sister Krystal Dake of Fort Worth said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Her ex-boyfriend, who police say is a suspect in her shooting, remained on the run Wednesday.

"Apparently this was a family violence assault where the suspect shot the victim," police spokesman Officer Daniel Segura said in an email Wednesday when asked about the case.

Teter briefly talked about her horrific experience with the Star-Telegram last week, but she remained terrified because her ex-boyfriend has not been arrested, she said.

'Man of her dreams'

Her fear is something borne out by a brutal statistic in Tarrant County. One in three women in Tarrant County will face domestic violence from a spouse, a significant other or someone with whom they have children. The statistic is on par with the statewide rate, but higher than the national average of about one in four women, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence.

In 2016, more than 2,000 cases related to what advocates call intimate partner violence were filed with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office.

That same year because the problem was so prevalent a new special unit was formed in the district attorney's office to prosecute those crimes when they rise to the level of felony.

That number was at 2,587 in 2017 and there were 16 intimate partner murders, according to Tarrant County criminal district attorney statistics.

So far this year, there have been over 2,300 cases and four intimate partner murders.

For Teter, life has been a roller coaster.

Ten months ago, Teter said she believed she had found the man of her dreams, a partner she had spent her whole life looking for.

"Things started out so good," Teter said. "Not long after we decided to make things official I noticed signs of abuse. No girl wants to believe it though."

He isolated her from her friends and she couldn't work. The beatings started. She ended up with black eyes, scars on her body and busted lips.

"I tried to leave but didn't really have a safe haven to go to and every time I did leave he would find me, collect me and bring me home with promises of doing better," she said in the account. "This would last a couple of days and, of course, things would go back to the same old routine."

Months ago, her ex-boyfriend was jailed for some outstanding tickets and a parole violation. He was gone for about two weeks which she noted was very difficult because she had become dependent on him for everything — food, water and shelter.

Teter said she didn't have people to fall back on for help.

"I was desperately praying for him to come home because I was tired of roaming the streets and searching for my next meal," Teter said.

After his release from jail, Teter was beaten again and again. Her ex-boyfriend ordered her out of their home, but he took her back in the next day.

"Sadly, I was used to this," Teter said. She said she begged him to take her back.

But on May 3, Teter's world turned even more horrible. Teter slept most of the day while her ex-boyfriend went to help a cousin with a garage door.

"He came swinging the bedroom door open, cussing at me, holding a shotgun," Teter said. "He kept asking me why I lied to him. He thought I cheated."

He brandished the shotgun, pointing it at her while she begged and pleaded for her life, she said. Teter said she believed he was on drugs.

"He told me to open my mouth and put the gun in there, but I refused, causing him to hit me with the gun and taunt me more," she said.

At some point, he placed the shotgun on the side of her stomach under her ribs, Teter said in her written account.

"I remember thinking so fast he was about to kill me so I hit the gun down yelling for him to take it off me," Teter said. "He pulled the trigger and shot me."

Teter flew back against the wall.

"It seemed as if someone was pouring a pitcher of red Kool-Aid out of me," she said referring to the blood coming out of her.

Once she made it to the hospital by ambulance, doctors told her it was a miracle she survived. She suffered fractures to her femur bone and pelvis, and eight buck shots missed her main artery, she said in her account. She has a colostomy bag on her stomach.

So far, she's had nine surgeries; more are scheduled.

Her family has established a gofundme account.

"I have nothing left from that relationship but terrible memories," Teter said. "Things are so rough for me right now."

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Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr