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Teen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming Queen

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 03 Oct 2019 18:27
Teen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenTeen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenPraying for Deserae Turner/Facebook/KUTV

A teenager who survived being shot in the head and left for dead two years ago was crowned homecoming queen at her high school last week.

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In 2017, a family friend found Deserae Turner, then 14 years old, in a canal 10 miles from her home with severe wounds to her head. Turner received emergency medical treatment, while investigators tried to find out what exactly happened to her.

It was later revealed two classmates of Deserae’s – Colter Peterson and Jayzon Decker – had shot the 14-year-old in the head and left her for dead in the canal.

You can see more of Deserae’s story here:

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Peterson and Decker were both sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for their plot to kill the young girl, KUTV reports.

Since the incident, Deserae has been through 13 surgeries, extensive physical therapy and has had ‘to relearn everything’, according to her mother, who told Fox 13: ‘She is the most determined person I have ever known and I saw it in her even as a toddler.’

Deserae still has at least two more surgeries to go through before the end of the year. A bullet remains in her head, and she has suffered seizures as a result.

Thanks to her determination and drive to recover, Deserae made it back to her school to be crowned homecoming queen, walking onto the school field with her father as the crowd erupted into cheers.

Teen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenTeen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenPraying for Deserae Turner/Facebook

She told KUTV:

When they called out my name, the crowd, all of them, they just stood up and gave me a standing ovation and cheered.

It’s been really nice to know that people are there behind me.

When Deserae first left hospital, she told reporters she was ‘tougher than a bullet’, and it’s this attitude her mum April says is the reason she has stayed on the road to recovery.

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April said:

Des is determined and she goes to school and she is determined to graduate on time.

Speaking about being crowned homecoming queen, April simply said:

It was great to see Des happy.

Teen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenTeen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenKUTV

During the trial, Deserae took to the stand herself to testify against her attackers, saying her life had been ‘severely impacted’.

She said:

I don’t remember anything [about the shooting] because Colter shot me in the back of the head.

I hate you. I know the meaning of friendship… I trusted you… You could have talked to me instead of shooting me.

You wanted to kill. I was an easy target and took the bullet. You should never be allowed out of prison.

Teen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenTeen Who Survived Being Shot In Head And Left For Dead Crowned Homecoming QueenPraying for Deserae Turner/Facebook

Later, however, Deserae told reporters she realised ‘I do not hate these boys, I hate what they did to me.’

Speaking to Fox 13 about the homecoming, Deserae said:

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I was just a homecoming queen, there’s nothing special about that. But if you think about what I’ve been through, yes — it’s very special. It is very awesome.

It just gives you that comfort and love that, yes, I am truly loved. Everybody needs to know that feeling.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life, Crowned, head, Homecoming Queen, Prom Queen, shot, survivor, teen

Credits

KUTV and 3 others