Shooting survivor thanks those who saved her from the 'scariest day of her life'
A double homicide survivor got the rare opportunity to thank the first responders that helped save her on the “scariest day of her life.”
Jaclyn Burden, 24, lived in west Travis County in the spring of 2017. Her landlord who lived across the street had some work done on the home. The landlord hired handyman Randall Lee Burrows.
When the landlord wasn’t satisfied with the work and didn’t want to pay full price, Burden said Burrows grew angry and retrieved a handgun from his vehicle.
Burden said she ran back inside her house when she heard her landlord and her landlord’s boyfriend scream before Burrows shot and killed the two of them. Burden said she was trying to determine if she could escape out the back door but Burrows kicked the door in to find her.
“I guess based on the detectives finding, I had probably thrown my arms up to try to block myself and he had shot me in the right side, in the right arm. And once he realized he had missed my head then he shot me again in the head,” said Burden.
Days later, Burrows was located in Mississippi where he lead authorities on a high speed chase before he drove off the road into a field and took his own life.
Burden was left with a long road to recovery. “I was terrified I was still dying,” she said.
Today, Burden is still in recovery. Three days a week the 24-year-old goes to outpatient rehab where she’s doing physical and occupational therapy.
“When I woke up from the surgery, I was completely paralyzed on the left side of my body,” she said. “I couldn’t move my arm or my leg, I couldn’t move my neck and I was half blind in both of my eyes.”
She even said that during the heat of the Texas summer she had to wear a skateboard helmet while a piece of her skull was being sized and 3D printed.
On Wednesday, a handful of first responders came to meet Burden for the first time so she can ask about what happened that day and ultimately thank them for helping save her life.
“My message to other survivors would be, although you’ve gone through a horrible trauma there’s always a silver lining of some sort, to find something that makes you happy, find something that you’re compassionate about to do. Focus on the positive not the negative,” she said.
The silver lining for Burden is what she still plans to do with her life. She said before all of this she was “just a regular 22 year old with no life goal or ambition” (she was 22 at the time of the shooting) but now her purpose is to one day put together a disability equipment company and a nonprofit to help others with disabilities.