'Very grateful to be alive': Teen shooting victim speaks
Brittanie Andrews, 18, is calm and full of quiet confidence as she speaks. In the last two weeks, she's been through a lot.
“It was a lot bigger when I first went to hospital,” Andrews said of the bullet hole still open in her cheek. It and two other bullet wounds, in the back of her neck and on her right shoulder, are also covered.
Andrews said she still has no idea what prompted someone to shoot her three times.
Andrews was shot Monday morning, June 25, 2018. She was left at an intersection in Biltmore Village and taken to Mission Hospital, where her condition was listed as critical.
On Friday, July 6, Patrick Koerschner, 17, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He is also accused of stealing a 2008 Toyota Camry Solara, an iPhone, and $20 in cash.
After Andrews was shot, the hunt for Koerschner began, with police describing the teen as armed and dangerous.
Andrews said she knows Koerschner only through friends. She said she was going through him to buy a bag of marijuana. She said Koerschner told her he had a dealer they could go to for the pot.
"I picked him up and went to the bank, pulled out money and I gave it to him. It was only $40," Andrews said.
She said she and Koerschner drove to North Asheville together and were walking on a trail on Elk Mountain on the way to the dealer's house when she said he shot her.
Andrews said there was no house.
“He lied to me,” she said.
“Right before he shot me, he crouched down and (was) facing away from me. He said he had a cramp in his side. And I kept asking if he was OK, and he said he was fine. I turned away, to continue walking up the trail. And that was when he shot me," she said.
"I never saw him shoot me. I just heard it and felt it," Andrews said. “I’m grateful, very grateful, to be alive.”
She said she was in shock. She said she never saw the gun, but knew she was seriously injured.
“I was bleeding from the back of here,” she said, pointing to her neck. “I felt the blood coming down this way, and it was coming out of my mouth.”
Andrews said there are three bullets lodged in her body.
“One in the top of my head, one in the nape of my neck and in my right shoulder.”
Andrews said she has no idea why she was shot. She said she began to apologize, to do what she could to diffuse the situation.
“I said I'm sorry for whatever I did. I don't know what I did. Why would you do this? He never answered me. He never answered me. He stayed quiet," she said.
Andrews said she convinced Koerschner to take her to the hospital. But she said when she saw he was making a wrong turn, she got worried.
Andrews jumped out of her car. She was found at the intersection of McDowell and Short McDowell streets.
“He tried to keep me from jumping out of the car by leaning over and holding the door closed," Andrews said.
Andrews suffered road rash burns on her forearm and said she also had injuries on her legs from jumping out of her car. She said before she got out he was apologizing.
Andrews said she’s doing very well emotionally after the near-death experience and said she feels like a miracle happened, and she was protected by God, a guardian angel and her late great-grandmother Theresa.
Watch Brittanie's raw interview here:
Watch Brittanie's mother's full interview here: