VANCOUVER, Wash. — Three days before Alicia Nilo was set to run a half marathon, she was shot in the hip while running on the Padden Parkway Trail close to her home in Vancouver, the Clark County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) confirmed.
According to her mother, Jessie Nilo, the incident happened around 4 p.m. on Oct. 21, near Northeast 117th Avenue. Nilo explained that, while on her run, her daughter felt a sharp pain.
"She looked down and there was a hole in her exercise clothing with blood," she said. "We were wondering if this was targeted or if this was a stray bullet or whatever. To this day, they are still investigating."
Nilo said a single bullet was lodged into her daughter's hip.
"I was thanking God that she wasn’t more injured than she was," Nilo said. "It didn’t take her life. When she was examined at the hospital — she was brought to the hospital by ambulance — they discovered that if it had been even a fraction of an inch anywhere different, it would have either torn through her internal organs or embedded in her spine. So things could’ve been even worse than this. So we have really mixed feelings."
The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Nilo told KGW that Clark County deputies have said they don't have a suspect at this time. A CCSO spokesperson told KGW that deputies looked into whether the bullet could have come from a nearby shooting range.
"It was one of the first things patrol did," the spokesperson said. "There was no one at the range and it was closed and is not typically open at the time of the shooting, but the detectives are looking at all avenues at this time. It also would not have the correct angle and distance to create this injury."
As for her daughter, Nilo said Alicia is still in pain and leaning on the support of her loved ones during this difficult time.
"That bullet is still embedded in her. They cannot take it out," Nilo said. "I think that she is doing the best that anybody could. It's not uncommon to have days where you just feel like you can't do anything when you're in a situation like this and we are just assuring her that it's OK. It's normal. Our whole goal for her right now is healing."
Through physical therapy, Alicia will relearn how to walk.
Although the circumstances around this shooting are unknown, her message is this, in regard to firearms:
"She just wants to urge everybody to care for your community in every way that you can," Nilo said. "Which includes safety with every kind of power that you have."
A GoFundMe campaign for Alicia Nilo launched only a couple of days ago. Money raised will help her with meals and medical expenses, plus a special pressure-point mattress to help her sleep, with the bullet still lodged in her hip.