SALT LAKE CITY — A 14-year-old girl said “I am tougher than a bullet,” as she walked out of a Utah hospital nine weeks after being shot in the head and left in a ditch to die.
Deserae Turner was shot in February after being lured to canal in the town of Smithfield in northern Utah by two 16-year classmates with the promise of selling her a pocket knife. But instead, the boys shot her in the back of the head, stole her belongings and left her for dead.
She was found hours later by friend who had gone looking for her. She eventually identified her attackers after awaking following weeks in a medically-induced coma.
The two boys have been charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking to have them tried as adults and a decision on whether to move the case out of juvenile court is expected next month.
Wearing a white T-shirt with the word “Happy” scrawled on the front, the teen said Thursday that her clothing reflected how she felt: Happy to go home. Happy to soon see the horses that she loves. Happy to be alive.
“I am so thankful to be here today — to be alive,” Turner said at a news conference Thursday, ahead of her released from Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Wearing a T-shirt that read “Happy,” Turner said she still has a long way to go with her recovery from the shooting which left a piece of the bullet permanently lodged in her head.
“I told my dad that I am tougher than a bullet,” she said. “[The bullet] is still with me today. But I am here, and I get to go home today.”