The Graham family slept without worry until at least 20 bullets riddled their home early New Year's Eve.
It sounded like fireworks, but the family soon realized it was gunfire that pierced the windows, walls and doors of their home near 42nd Street and Himebaugh Avenue, Chelsea Graham said.
After hearing the shots, Chelsea and Christopher Graham's screaming children ran down the hall into the living room where their parents had fallen asleep.
The family was in a state of terror, Chelsea Graham said.
But Christopher Graham, 35, remained on the couch in the same position he had fallen asleep — sitting up.
That was the moment Chelsea Graham knew her husband had been hit. He was shot in the head, foot, hand and thigh.
He was rushed to Creighton University Medical Center in critical condition. Doctors put him in a medically induced coma, and he underwent brain surgery and several other procedures.
“It's hard to see him like this,” Chelsea said. “He doesn't deserve it.”
Christopher Graham woke up Friday. He opened his eyes and moved his hands and feet. He can't talk because he remains on a breathing machine, but he was able to respond to questions by nodding, said Tanya Haley, a cousin.
Chelsea is optimistic that Christopher, who remains in critical condition, will get through this. But she knows the journey will be tough. The family doesn't know how long physical therapy will take or if his life will ever return to normal. The doctors warned Christopher that he may have suffered nerve damage or memory loss.
Omaha police have not identified any suspects in what appears to be a drive-by shooting.
“I'm blessed my husband is still here, but I am devastated and I am angry,” Chelsea said. “I don't understand why someone would do this.”
Her husband will have a tough time letting people take care of him since he has always been a hard worker, Chelsea said.
He has been a laborer at Lozier Corp. for 11 years, while Chelsea is an at-home child care provider. Christopher has two children, ages 8 and 10, and two stepchildren, ages 15 and 17.
The younger children don't understand what happened to their father. All week, they have asked Chelsea, “How much longer does daddy need to rest?”
The family has lived near 42nd Street and Sorensen Parkway for more than 10 years. On his block, Christopher is known as the grill master. Not even a blizzard will stop him from using the grill, Chelsea said.
He became a rapper when he was in high school, said his mother, Barbara Graham. Not a gangster rapper, cousin Tiffany Wright said, but he writes music people want to dance to.
Wright and Haley started the Chris & Chelsea Graham Fund to help the family financially.
The family is looking for a new home because they are scared to return to the house filled with bullet holes. Much of their living room furniture has been ruined, and the children need new beds, Chelsea said.
“When he is ready to come home, I don't want him to worry about anything,” Chelsea said.
Donations can be made to the Chris & Chelsea Graham Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank location. Anyone who would like to donate furniture and other items to the family can call Haley at 402-812-3485.
Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Crime Stoppers at 444-STOP (7867) or omahacrimestoppers.net, or text OPD and your tip to CRIMES (274637).