CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Elizabeth Stonum has lived in Champaign-Urbana her entire life.
“I was able to ride my bike wherever we didn’t have cellphones, we were kids, and I was able to ride my bike anywhere I went, you know, I rode the MTD, and I was able to stay after school,” Stonum said.
She said now, it’s not the same, and she’s never experienced gun violence like this.
“I feel like as a community, it needs to be more attention brought to the fact that the people that are doing this, do not care who is in the way,” she said.
One day, Stonum was at her boyfriend’s cousin’s house when 3 men started shooting. She was hit several times. A bullet ricocheted and hit her forehead, splitting it open. She had multiple stitches and staples. She was also shot in her left thigh. Fracturing her femur and causing extensive damage to her nerves and other muscles. She still has fragments in her body, and two other people were hurt, one person even killed.
To this day, she said she never thought something like this could ever happen.
“Just astonished. Like who would do that? Why would you do that? Why is it coming to the point where people are shooting into people’s homes? Just hurt, sad,” she said.
Stonum is now learning how to use her left leg again and can’t work. Her doctor told her it could take up to 6 months for her to be cleared to go back to work. Her disability runs out in about 3 weeks.
She has 5 kids who weren’t there when it happened, but said the entire incident has impacted them.
“I just feel like, if whoever out there is some of the people engaging in these violent behaviors, if they could understand they are affecting family members, people’s family members, maybe even their own family members, and they don’t realize it. They need to understand. Don’t be more cautious, just don’t do it,” she said.
Stonum is trying to move her and her family out of the area. She said she doesn’t feel safe to even let her kids go out and play.
If you want to help Stonum and her kids, you can donate to their fundraiser here.