Novell Dewald, a Tacoma hair stylist, was shot in the leg because she would not hand over her purse. The bullet wound left her unable to stand on her own. But co-workers and customers have offered plenty of support. They held a cut-a-thon Sunday to help Dewald raise money until she gets back on her feet.
“I love decking people out and making them feel good,” said Dewald.
But that means being on her feet at the Baroque Salon where she works. She was leaving the salon on January 16, when three teens robbed and shot her. Her femur was shattered by a bullet.
Her friends and co-workers have been there for her since.
"I'm laying there in the middle of the street, you know, like in pain but yet I look up and it was this circle of love,” she said. “I know it sounds kind of corny but it was, all of these people surrounding me and telling me how much they love me and I'm going to be OK."
Doctors had to put a steel rod in Dewald’s leg. The pain has gone down since the operation, and she has felt a little better every day. Soon, Dewald hopes she will be back to living life like she did before the shooting.
“I'm going to be wearing heels pretty soon and that was like my biggest thing,” she said, adding that she was also worried about things like being left with a limp.
Throughout her recovery, Dewald’s bills have been piling up. That’s where her family at Baroque Salon came in.
"What happened to Novell was a very tragic thing and I thought it would be a great idea to get our salon together to do a cut-a-thon to raise money for her," said co-worker Jessie Ferrer.
Novell, meanwhile, is just grateful that it was not any more tragic.
“It could have been so much worse and I just feel really blessed that I'm going to make a full recovery," she said.
Tacoma police arrested the three teens shortly after the incident.