'I'm alive, but I'm not alive': Renton theater shooting victim still struggling
RENTON, Wash. -- Michelle Mallari still battles pain one month after she was shot inside the Regal The Landing theater in Renton.
On Jan. 21, Mallari and her boyfriend went to see the film "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi" for a date night. Witnesses say 30 minutes into the film a gun went off and struck Mallari, who was rushed to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries.
Police say 29-year-old Dane Gallion accidentally fired the shot. He told police he brought the gun to the theater because he feared the subject of the film might incite a mass shooting. He is charged with third degree assault.
One month later, Mallari still has her right arm in a sling, and can hardly use it. She says she takes pain medication, and still suffers daily discomfort. Sometimes she wakes up at night with sharp pain that she can't easily fight.
The right side of her body is often numb.
"I'm trying to be strong about it," Mallari said. "Trying to see if I can do the things I once did. But it's hard."
She says she constantly finds herself looking over her shoulder, fearing what could happen. She struggles going out in public, and often doesn't want to leave her home.
Her family has been her support system. She spends her days with her boyfriend, her parents, and the dozens of other family and friends she has in the Seattle area. She also likes to color to calm herself. But she is quickly brought to tears reflecting on that night in January, and how it's left her.
"It's now sinking in," she said, wiping away tears. "Just bringing back what happened."
She wonders if she'll ever be the same person.
"I'm alive, but I'm not alive," she said.
She hopes to return to work in a month, and, as she heals, her life may approach normalcy again. But she admits, it may take a while.
Gallion faces a third degree assault charge. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 22.
King County Prosecutors say Gallion could face 19-21 months behind bars if convicted.