Surviving nine Bullets: Mother of four recounts being shot by then-boyfriend, leaving her paralyzed

BATON ROUGE — It’s been over seven years since a mother of four survived being shot nine times. Now, Angela Gabriel has lost movement in her extremities but she has not lost her spirit to keep fighting despite one hurdle after another.

The most recent battle she’s now fighting is a diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer.

‘You shot me’

Feb. 22, 2017 started as every other day. Gabriel and her then-boyfriend Carl Thompson had two children together. It was Thompson’s time to watch their son as Gabriel needed to get ready for work. She was a realtor. The two got into a verbal argument, but Gabriel did not think much of it saying every couple argues. She went to take a bath.

“Needless to say, the next memory I have is him standing in the bathroom, and I see the last two gunshots. And I look at him, and I say, ‘You shot me.’ And he says, ‘Look what you made me do, Angie. I’m going to Angola for the rest of my life.’

“And I’m thinking, ‘Dial 911.’ So he leaves out of the bathroom, and in that moment, I’m beginning to think, ‘Oh my God, I’m dying’,” she shares.

Gabriel, now paralyzed from the neck down, says she had no idea she had been shot nine times until days later at the hospital. In fact, in that moment, she only remembers two bullets hitting.

Gabriel recounted the chilling events of that fateful day on the UWK podcast Louisiana Unfiltered. She says it’s a day that changed her life forever. 

“What if he’s going to finish me?”

“He leaves out of the bathroom again. And I’m just thinking, Oh my God, what if he’s going outside to the truck to get his shotgun? What if he’s going to finish me? Oh my God, my children are going to come home. Our son is going to see his dad’s truck in the driveway. I’m thinking if he kills me, he’s going to kill himself. I’m thinking Cam is going to come home from school and he’s going to go to his dad’s truck and find his dad there and my daughter would come in and she would find me in the bathroom,” she continued. “Lord, please let someone love me enough to know that I’m not where I’m supposed to be at nine o’clock so Grayson (then 18 months) is not here all day by himself.”

Gabriel’s plea for women trapped in abusive relationships to seek help resonates deeply, as she knows first-hand the dangers of staying silent and mistaking major red flags as normalcy. 

“Now, of course, there were the red flags and I chose to ignore the red flags because in me, I’ve been raised to be such a strong person. And, you know, growing up, I’ve seen my mom fight before. You don’t look at that as domestic violence. You just look at it like, oh, my mom and her boyfriend getting into it. But wait, my mama kicked his tail,” Gabriel said.

“Every day is a gift”

She said, “You know, it’s normalized. So you don’t even look at it as abuse. So when he initially became verbally abusive, it was never face-to-face. It was always through text messages or Facebook, something like that. I never looked at it as verbal abuse because I would just say, ‘Oh, he’s crazy’.”

Carl Thompson, 50, a former fire fighter and father of two of her four children, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for his crime. While justice has been served in the eyes of the law, Gabriel’s road to recovery remains long and arduous. 

Yet, she refuses to let her circumstances define her, finding solace in the support of her children and the knowledge that her story may save others from a similar fate. Gabriel lives with two bullets still in her body.

On May 1st, Angela was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Even still, she holds on to hope.

“And it’s still, I tell people nothing but God. Every day is a gift.” Gabriel said.

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or  1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

If you are being abused by your partner, know there is nothing you have done or are doing to cause the abuse. It is solely the choice of the abuser to abuse. It may seem impossible to escape your abuser, change your circumstances, or find the help you need, but it is possible.

www.ncadv.org

Baton Rouge Area

IRIS HOUSE
http://www.stopdv.org
(225) 389-3001
Ostatewide toll free at 1-800-541-9706.

Their phones are 24hrs/day

The Butterfly Society (Local non-profit – Zachary)

225-347-7725

Battered Women’s Shelter (Ascension parish)

1068 E Worthey St, 
Gonzales, LA 70737(225) 644-4916

EBRDA Domestic Violence Division

(225) 389-7714
(225) 389-8889
(225) 389-5355

24/hr National Number(s):
1-800-799-7233 and 1-800-787-3224

Website: thehotline.org

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area.

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