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SIU student speaks out after being a victim of gun violence

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - A Southern Illinois University Carbondale student is speaking out after she was shot while attending a party.

Michelle Dietzel is a sophomore at SIU studying radiation sciences.

“I loved it, I loved going there I had a really good group of friends, and I did really well in my classes,” said Dietzel.

On the weekend of October 23, a fun night out with friends changed her life.

“We got Halloween costumes you know and hour before the party and then we picked up a couple other friends and we headed to the party,” said Dietzel.

Everything went fine when they first arrived at a house party in the 700 block of West College Street in Carbondale.

“We just started dancing and having a good time,” said Dietzel.

That good time soon turned into the scariest moment of her life.

“We didn’t really understand what was going on cause the music was so loud. And then we just started to hear this, these gun shots and the windows started to shatter and it was just like, it all just happened so fast,” Said Dietzel.

One of those bullets fired into the house struck Dietzel in the top of her head.

“Recovery has been, every day is just a little bit harder than before, but the only permanent injuries I did get was I lost both peripheral visions in my eyes and then they said that I would probably never get that back,” said Dietzel.

She experienced an outpouring of support from the community, but shares this message along with it.

“People would put notes on my door in my dorm when I lived on campus, and a lot of people just kept sharing my story and we all kind of came to the same conclusion that it needs to be vocalized about how bad campus violence is,” said Dietzel.

Speaking out is part of Dietzel’s recovery.

She is making progress with each passing day, but there are challenges.

“It’s definitely everyday is a little bit harder but like I said I’m just happy that I get to wake up and just have a little bit more of a recovery stride everyday,” said Dietzel.

Dietzel is no longer in the hospital.

Currently, she is taking her recovery one day at a time from her home in southwestern Illinois.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to Michelle’s recovery. The link can be found here if you would like to donate.

The Carbondale Police Department says the shooting investigation is still ongoing and detectives are following all leads.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Carbondale Police Department at 618-457-3200.

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