AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
Last year, Chasity Wright became one of them after being held hostage and shot four times.
Now, she’s sharing her story of this often hidden crime for the first time publicly.
It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words.
The engagement photo of Chasity Wright and her former fiancé shows happiness.
What it doesn’t show is the sad day ahead for them.
Chasity explains, “we had known each other since high school. like i said, he did do 12 years in prison. I believe the remaining of his last two he reached out to me on Facebook and we started talking from there and I would go see him in prison on visitation days sometimes.”
He served time for armed robbery and seemed to have turned his life around.
He became the man of her dreams.
“The proposal was very unexpected but I was happy in the relationship. He didn’t give any bad vibes to me,” she reflects.
Suddenly, he created a nightmare.
Chasity says May 6th 2020 started normally.
But, after a seemingly peaceful talk in their bedroom and the removal of her engagement ring things changed.
“I guess by me taking mine off that triggered something with him. I don’t know. Maybe he thought that I didn’t want to be with him anymore. I don’t know but I just told him, “we’ll talk when he gets back and I’ll see him when he gets back from orientation.”
But not for orientation.
Instead, he got a gun.
“He just was standing in the doorway and we were kind of close range face to face and he just had his hands behind his back and pulled it out and shot me in the leg. My daughter was standing right here in the living room, all of this happened here at my home where we are now, and she heard it and she ran in the bedroom and she was like, “oh my God Mama” and she turned around and ran back down the hallway.”
“Then when I was running out he grabbed my shirt really hard. I felt the shirt like tugging on my neck and stuff and I like looked back and I saw the tip of the gun. That’s why I got scared and started screaming even louder cause I thought ‘this might be my last day’ especially how close it is from my neck and to my head. I was able to get away and I ran across the street as fast as I could. I looked back and he was just starring and looking at me,” explains Chasity’s daughter Armani Sullivan.
Chasity’s then 11-year-old daughter Armani made it across the driveway to her aunt’s home and called 9-1-1.
However, part of her shirt, and her mother’s life, were in his hands.
“Then he came back and ran in the bedroom where I was and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, like, why did you do that?’ He said, ‘you made me do that,'” says Chasity.
Soon, several law enforcement agencies and the Aiken county sheriff’s office Swat team arrived outside.
Meanwhile, inside the apartment things went from bad to worse.
“He shot me in my stomach, my chest and I was grazed on the top of my head in the doorway. We were in the living room at that time,” she says.
Her body riddled with gunshots, the next two hours would begin the toughest battle to save her own life.
“I fell down to the ground after those three shots. We were just in here for a very long time while they were trying to get us out. They were using flash bangs and tear gas and things like that. So, I had started to burn inside. My body was burning. I was cramping up and shortness of breath.”
“He told me that when they came in to get me he was gonna kill himself. He said he wasn’t going back to prison.”
While talking, a window started shattering with rounds of tear gas being tossed inside to force the suspect out.
The last round filled the room with smoke and filled Chasity with determination.
“It landed directly in front of me when they threw it in and I couldn’t already breathe and inhaling that smoke and the gas it was unbearable. I just got up off the floor and ran out my back door. God gave me the strength and my Mom’s spirit was here with me.”
“When I ran out they told me to ‘put my hands up and get on the ground’ that’s when I collapsed forward. I fell face down. They came running over to me and drug me across the road.”
As she was rushed to the hospital her fiance’s standoff with police continued.
While inside, he shot himself and used his own blood to write final words to Chasity above their bed.
He also used her phone to snap pictures of himself in a mirror.
Then, he took his own life.
Chasity spent several days in the I-C-U.
Since then, her gunshot wounds have healed.
Her smile quickly returned.
Chasity has now created a new picture of happiness and peace.
This one is due to her faith, family and forgiveness.
“Six months after I was shot I did forgive him for what he did to me and my daughter because God forgives and he would want me to forgive him,” she concludes.
Chasity says Armani is her hero for risking her life to run and call 9-1-1.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence there are helpful resources locally.
Contact SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center‘s 24 hour Crisis Hotline at 706-736-2499 or 1-800-799-SAFE.
Contact the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons’ 24-Hour Hotline at (803) 649-0480.