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Greenville City Council honors Walmart shooting victims, first responders

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:49:05 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 13 2013 06:28:00 AM CDT
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

The victims shot in June along Greenville Boulevard, and the first responders on the scene, were honored in a special ceremony held at City Hall Thursday night.

Two of the victims, 69-year-old Vernon Leggett and 64-year-old Tim Edwards attended the event, along with their families.  Several first responders were also in attendance.

NewsChannel 12 talked with Vernon Leggett’s daughter, Amy, about what happened on June 21, 2013 when her dad and three other people were shot by an alleged gunman. She said she was watching the horrific scene unfold on the news when something dawned on her.

"I realized today's Friday and that's when my dad normally goes to Wal-Mart. I called his phone and he didn't answer,” Amy said.

Amy said her dad had just parked his car and was walking towards the store when he saw a gunman pointing a gun at someone else. That's when she said her dad decided to take action and distract the gunman.

"He was shot in the hip at some point, across the forehead and then he couldn't see. Blood was just pouring. His glasses were completely covered,” she said.

According to Amy, her dad tried to play dead but the gunman shot him in the back.

"That was the shot that really did the damage. It was just a blessing and I think God was sitting on his shoulders that kept him from dying out there in that parking lot,” she said.

She believes the first responders' quick actions saved many lives that day. Police took down the alleged gunman, 23-year-old Lakim Faust, in a matter of minutes.

Amy said it has been a difficult road for her dad with all the surgeries. “He lost a kidney, a spleen, a gallbladder, had damage to his pancreas.”

However, he survived in the end, along with Edwards, 70-year-old Carroll Oakes and 50-year-old Haywood Whichard Jr.

"It's remarkable. I love seeing them. I've gone to their homes. I've met their extended families. It's much more personal now,” Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden said.

Chief Aden said no one wants to get a call about a shooting spree; however, he's proud of the quick response by all the first responders.

"The way this incident is being looks at it's being looked at as a model response. We were fortunate in some ways but really it comes down to training, execution and courage,” he said.

A trait Amy knows her father had when he confronted the shooter.

"Oh, when they first took him off the ventilator, it was amazing. The first thing he asked was 'How many more people were shot?' and I said 'you were the last one ...you stopped him.’ He just looked at me and was relieved,” she said.