Detroit fireworks shooting victim is going back to show

- The fireworks are just days away and one courageous Detroiter will be there with her family after being shot at this same event just last year.

In 2017 there was fireworks in the sky but gunfire on the ground.  Chiquita Keen-Johnston was hit in the hip when a group of young guys nearby decided to settle an argument with a gun.

It happened in front of her husband, mother and three young grandchildren - her 9-year-old grandson ran to get an officer.

Chiquita rushed to the hospital where she would tell FOX 2 by phone, she wouldn’t be back.

"I don't plan on being in that crowd anymore - the fireworks from now on will be watched on TV," she said at the time.

It has been a long year of recovery for this mother and grandmother - and it turns out - she's had a change of heart. She and her family are going back to watch the fireworks once again.

This time with police escorts at Mayor Mike Duggan's rooftop party. She's nervous, but determined to go back to the fireworks for her grandchildren.

"It was very traumatic," she said. "The grandkids tend to say to me, 'Grandma, I remember when you got shot.' I'm trying to get that image out of their head.

"I took the invitation because I wanted to keep by tradition as well as I could with the grandkids, I don't want them to have a bad image of the fireworks."

Chiquita is back to work as a nurse's aide with the bullet still lodged in her hip, and now uses a cane to walk. She still goes to physical therapy. Her life will never be the same, but she's soldiering on.

"It's gotten better but I still have a long way to go," she said.

She's been using her experience to try to speak to young men about gun violence - no one has ever been caught in her case.

"Guns are not (the) answer," she said. "You're taking away innocent people; you're hurting innocent people."

"Our youngsters (need to) find better ways of conflict resolution," said Conrad Johnston. "Everything is about violence."

Which brings us back to Detroit police, they are sending that message as well, that security will be intense, cameras will be everywhere."

"Everything is on camera downtown," said Ofc. Gregory Bentley. "So if you do anything, you will be found."

"They've implemented so many plans to make sure everyone is safe," Ofc. India Washington. "So we're doing our best to make sure we have a great time on Monday."
 

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