Student paralyzed in road rage shooting on I-85 vows to walk again

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — A Clark Atlanta University student who was critically injured in a highway shooting vows that she will recover from bullet wounds that left her paralyzed.

“I will walk again. I’m a fighter and I’m not going to give up,” Amari Franklin said.

The 22-year-old student and fashion design major was heading home following an overnight shift at a meal boxing and delivery company Newnan in April. Investigators say a coworker, who she did not know, became angry when she accidentally cut in front of him in the plant parking lot. They say he chased her onto I-85.

“In my rearview I could see a car coming up really fast. We made eye contact probably about five times. He had a ski mask on. Then I saw red beams of lights shining into my car. I just heard a lot of wind, then I felt something hit me,” she said.

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Amari told Channel 2′s Tom Regan that she immediately lost feeling in her legs.

“I tried to move my right foot to brake, but I couldn’t move my legs. So I tried to reach down and press the brake with my hand, I got up real fast. I thought I was going to crash. I went from 85 mph to 125 mph and I swerved on the highway to avoid hitting any cars,” she said.

She said she finally was able to stop the car by pulling the emergency brake. The whole time she was speaking to a 911 dispatcher.

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“I touched my right shoulder and I saw blood on my hands and I realized I had been shot. I kept saying I needed them to hurry up cause I thought I was going to pass out. One bullet hit me in my right shoulder and other bullet hit underneath my arm pit and I still have that bullet in my spine.”

Police arrested DeAnthony Clark for the highway shooting.

Amari said she was told early on that she may not walk again, but she said she won’t accept that prognosis.

“I’m starting to regain feeling back in my body. I feel my ribs, my bottom, my tailbone and I’m starting to get some feeling in my legs. I will walk again. I want people to never give up on themselves, no matter what.”

Amari says she believes she lived through that horrible night with the help of a higher power, and she is counting on faith during her long recovery.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Amari and her family with medical expenses. You can donate here.

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