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'I thought I was dead': 20-year-old Deanna Isom speaks months after being shot 11 times

Bullets were fired into a car at 48th and Villard on Aug. 5
Deanna Isom
Posted at 5:44 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 11:28:07-04

MILWAUKEE — Aug. 5 changed 20-year-old Deanna Isom's life forever. She got off work around 10 p.m. and her best friend picked her up. They ran to a gas station and came back to his aunt's house.

That's when Deanna said bullets were fired into his car at 48th and Villard.

Her friend, Deion William, died, and she was shot 11 times all over her body.

Deanna Isom and her father before the shooting
Deanna Isom and her father before the shooting

"I was looking at him and his head dropped. I tried to get out, but I couldn't move fast enough," Deanna said, holding back tears. "I thought I was dead."

They were able to get nine bullets out, but two are stuck in her spine and shoulder.

The shooting is still unsolved, and Deanna said she has no idea who would have done this or why.

When we asked Deanna if she believes she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, she said most definitely.

After countless surgeries, Deanna is home recovering, trying to cope with her new life as a paraplegic.

"I'm not supposed to be like this right now," Deanna said. "I'm supposed to be at work, but instead I'm here."

Before the shooting, Deanna was preparing to study criminal justice at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Now, she's doing things she never imagined she'd have to do. Like suctioning her tracheotomy to clear her airway and learning to live in a wheelchair.

Deanna Isom
Deanna Isom recovering at her home

It's been two months and she's still left with questions for the person or people who shot her and killed her best friend.

"I would ask them why?" Deanna said. "They changed my life forever."

Through it all, she still tries to smile because of the love she's surrounded by.

"They're (my family) the reason why I'm smiling," Deanna said.

Now, she's asking for our community to do better.

"Stop the violence." Deanna said. "We can say it, but are we doing it? Can we do it?"

Deanna has a long road to recovery, but she's looking forward to attending MATC when she's able to.

She's also hopeful that someone is held accountable for what happened on that August night.

If you would like to help the family with medical needs, click here for their GoFundMe.

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