Cincinnati Bank Shooting Victim Recalls Playing Dead After Being Shot 12 Times
Whitney Austin frantically tried to call her husband after she was first shot, but her movement caused the gunman to open fire once more. Miraculously, she survived.
An Ohio woman who was shot 12 times after a gunman opened fire during a September Cincinnati bank robbery was able to walk away from despite her injuries.
Cops took down a crazed gunman after his rampage killed three people and wounded two others inside a Cincinnati bank on Sept. 6.
One of the wounded, Whitney Austin, 37, who was shot 12 times, spoke to Inside Edition for the first time about her injuries.
“There's blood everywhere, the pain is excruciating,” she recalled of being shot.
She was in Cincinnati for a meeting at the bank she works for when she walked into the path of the gunman.
“As soon as I pushed the door, I was immediately hit by bullets, and the majority of them hit the right side of my body,” she said. “It was a burning sensation; it caused me to collapse within that revolving door. I wanted to make sure that I could talk to my husband before I died, because at that moment in time I thought I was dying, I was coughing up blood."
But as she reached for her phone during the violence, she was hit again.
“I'm hit again with more bullets and in my head I thought, ‘Oh no, that happened because I moved and he thinks I’m still alive, I need to play dead,’” she recalled.
As she feigned death, cops arrived, and took down and killed the shooter. They were then able to help her and the other victims.
“They sat me down at the flagpole, I remember thinking, ‘Are we sure that the danger has been eliminated?’ Having thoughts of Las Vegas [mass shooting], and shots coming from floors high above, and they said, ‘No Whitney, you're safe,’” she said. “Every person I saw I said, ‘I’m a mother to a 5- and a 7-year-old and they need their mother, so you have to save me.'”
Austin said the bullets hit her in her upper body and arms, some of them passing straight through.
“None of them hit a major artery or organ, it's just a miracle,” she said.
As she recovers, she needs help from her husband for everyday tasks.
Whitney and her husband have named their cat Alfonzo to honor the officer who supported her after she cheated death that day.
“I'm so lucky, unlucky and lucky all in the same sentence,” she said.
Austin has now set up a nonprofit called #WhitneyStrong, dedicated to reducing gun violence.
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