At least two bullets pierced Shamecha Holloway's body on Aug. 24. One ripped through her lung. Another lodged less than 2 inches from her spinal cord.
By the time she got to the Nebraska Medical Center, her pulse was faint. She was near death.
Doctors saved her in surgery, kept her sedated for four days and in ICU for a week.
After she awoke, Omaha police detectives paid her a visit.
They first told her they feared she wouldn't make it. She later learned they had a strong suspicion of who nearly killed her: Nikko Jenkins.
Holloway had only heard the first name before, when someone referred to Jenkins as “Nikko Freako.” Until then, she had never met him, never heard of him — “never, ever, ever.”
Now, she's heard all too much about Jenkins and his alleged killing spree. She's abundantly grateful that her name isn't cemented alongside the people who died, authorities allege, at Jenkins' hands: Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena on Aug. 11, Curtis Bradford on Aug. 19, and Andrea Kruger on Aug. 21.
“I'm very happy I'm alive,” Holloway said in an exclusive interview. “I can't even tell you.”
She's not alone. Holloway, 38, was with two friends that night — Danna K. Jones, 25, and Jermaine Stewart, 27.
The three were in Stewart's 1990 Green Chevrolet Caprice, thinking about going to the casinos early that Saturday. They instead stopped at a McDonald's on 30th Street.
Stewart dropped off the women at a home near 46th and Fort Streets.
The women got out of the car. A dark-colored vehicle slowed. Rapid blasts filled the air.
Holloway said she saw that Jones had been shot. But Holloway didn't realize she had been hit until she collapsed on the front lawn.
As she fell, Holloway's head hit her arm. The last thing she remembers seeing: blood from a bullet wound.
It would be four days before she awoke — her hands strapped to a hospital bed so she didn't dislodge her breathing tube.
One bullet pierced her lung and damaged her breast. The other lodged about 2 inches from a vertebra. She spent a week in ICU and had to undergo reconstructive surgery on her chest.
Jones also was in the hospital for several days before she was released. Stewart was treated and released.
Holloway had the most severe injuries. The mother of four doesn't know for sure how many shots hit her. But two bullets, or fragments of bullets, remain in her body.
She's fought fatigue. And she has yet to return to her job at a manufacturing company, though she's hopeful.
“I still have pain,” she said. “It takes a toll, you know what I'm saying? I have dreams all the time.”
And she has a nagging question: Why haven't police made an arrest in the shooting?
Those questions increased after a psychiatrist submitted a court exhibit this week, highlighting several police reports about the allegations against Jenkins.
Summarizing a detective's report, Dr. Bruce Gutnik wrote that Nikko Jenkins' wife, Chalonda, “acknowledged being present during a shooting in which Nikko Jenkins was named as a possible shooter of three people, none of whom died. She (Chalonda) observed Mr. Jenkins shooting at a car and at a woman outside the car.”
The intended target: Jermaine Stewart, a possible gang rival. In fact, authorities say Nikko's sister, Erica Jenkins, jumped Stewart after she arrived at the Douglas County Jail five days after the shooting.
Neither Nikko nor Chalonda Jenkins has been charged in the shootings of Stewart, Holloway and Jones.
Lt. Darci Tierney, an Omaha police spokeswoman, confirmed that Nikko Jenkins was a suspect in an additional shooting but she declined to specify which one. She referred questions to Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.
Kleine said he had been briefed on the shootings but is awaiting more detailed police reports.
“We'll certainly look into it and determine what can be done,” Kleine said.
Holloway and her mother, Karen Hogan, were dismayed that authorities haven't made an arrest in the three months since the shooting.
“My daughter almost died,” Hogan said. “This has been ridiculous.”
At the same time, it's been miraculous. “Mine's was almost a homicide,” Holloway said. “The doctors saved me.”
Holloway is convinced that something else saved her, too.
As shots rang out, Holloway's 20-year-old son came to the front door. She now believes that her son's sudden appearance caused the gunman to take off before he finished shooting.
“I have a whole new outlook,” Holloway said. “If my son wouldn't have been there, wouldn't have come to the door, it might have been another outcome. It definitely makes you look at life differently.”