Water dept. employee talks about being shot

June 23, 2009 5:08:25 PM PDT
It was a week ago Monday when a Philadelphia Water Department employee was shot on the job. And while police have issued a warrant for the alleged shooter's arrest, the victim is talking for the first time, exclusively to Action News.Before Loretta, whose identity we're protecting, could even react to the piercing sound of gunfire she felt something pierce through her foot and a pain radiate up her leg. Her co-worker told her to get down as they both realized someone was shooting.

"By the time he said 'lay down' I said 'I'm shot', he said 'why do you say that' and I said 'because I feel something sting'".

It wasn't even 11 in the morning. Loretta was cleaning a sewer on the 700 block of West Huntington last Monday. She tells Action News it happened so quickly, she didn't see the shooter nor could she tell where the shots were coming from. Residents on the block rushed to her aid and wrapped her right foot in a scarf until help arrived. Loretta underwent surgery for several broken bones in her foot. Loretta says that block is usually quiet and she felt safe doing what she was supposed to be doing that morning, her job.

"Instead of having a gun they should have had a job somewhere."

For the next 6 to 12 weeks, she will be in a cast unable to work unable to even walk up her own stairs to her bedroom.

"I am angry. I'm not a person to be in the house and I feel confined."

Loretta also says even when her foot heals; she fears the emotional trauma of what happened will be harder to heal.

"Yesterday the kids were playing outside with firecrackers and it scared me."

Loretta tells us she will return to the doctor's on Friday and doctors have said it is likely she will have to undergo a second surgery.

"I just thank God I ain't dead."

Loretta says she loves her job and would like to go back if she can overcome the physical pain she expects to endure for weeks maybe months. Police say they have identified the shooter and have a warrant for his arrest.

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