After undergoing surgery at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops to remove bone fragments from her foot caused by a bullet, Rosalie Montgomery is heading home Tuesday afternoon to Yunesit’in, about 110 kms west of Williams Lake.
Montgomery, an education coordinator with Yunesit’in Government, was attending the fourth and final rodeo performance at the Williams Lake Stampede Sunday, July 3 with her seven-year-old grandson to watch the Wild Cowgirls Race finals when she was shot - an innocent bystander in what police are considering a targetted shooting.
“I was standing in line for mini doughnuts. I was going to get mini doughnuts and a bottle of water for myself and my grandson (when the shooting happened),” she said from hospital Tuesday morning.
Montgomery described hearing a shot, and thinking at first it was fireworks. She said she then saw someone running by with a handgun and went to turn and heard a second shot, which is when she believes she was hit.
People started yelling ‘get to the ground’ when she noticed she had been shot in the heel.
“It happened so fast … I just thought ‘who should I ask for help?’ Then I said ‘I got hit, I got hit.’”
Several people in the area rushed to assist her, including a woman who identified herself as an ER nurse, before she was taken to hospital.
“Strangers I didn’t even know helped me.”
A mother and grandmother, Montgomery considers herself lucky she wasn’t hurt worse, or that her grandson with her instead of in the stands where she left him to get the food. She is also angry.
“Why do it at an event where there are kids and other bystanders? If there’s something going on between the shooter and the target person why not take it out somewhere else, not at a place like that. I’m just glad I didn’t have my grandson in the lineup.”
Montgomery feels she was just hit by accident.
“I wasn’t one of the targets, I’ll tell you that. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Montgomery plans to get counselling to help her through her recovery, and says this latest incident could be another trauma she will have to deal with in her life.
She is hoping the incident doesn’t impact Stampede, as she is an avid rodeo fan, attending the rodeo every year as well as other Stampede weekend events such as the parade.
Montgomery is an organizer of the Tl’entiqox and Yunesit’in horse and bike ride into the Williams Lake Stampede every year, and also a participant.
This was the first year she didn’t ride in the event since 2013 because her horse foaled this year.