Saturday, November 20, 2010

Victim recalls being shot in her home

Updated: Monday, 15 Nov 2010, 10:21 PM CST
Published : Monday, 15 Nov 2010, 10:21 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Minutes before she was shot, Jasmin Rodriguez had been in her backyard sipping a cup of coffee and watching her dog play. She glimpsed a man climbing over her fence and went inside, locking the sliding glass door behind her. Then she turned back toward the door and saw the flash of a gun.

"He was standing right where the edge of the concrete was and then I just saw the flash," Rodriguez remembered.

She knew she had been shot and ran down a hallway into a bedroom where she called out for her roommate, Darlene Derocher, and hid in a closet. Howard Huynh, 26, had come into their home and locked eyes with Derocher. She saw he was armed with an assault rifle.

"I'll never be able to forget those eyes and he raised it and I knew that it was coming," she said. " I just was holding the door with all my might saying get out of this house, get out of this house."

Huynh fired once through the bedroom door, but missed Derocher and Rodriguez. Then he left their home.

"I don't know why. I don't know why he would decide to shoot me except for the fact that he wanted in the house, but I don't know why he didn't finish what he started," said Rodriguez.

Neither woman had ever seen Huynh before, even though they were neighbors.

"It really was just, random," said Rodriguez, who believes she was only targeted because Huynh saw her outside in her backyard. "In the end, I really was lucky, considering what happened."

Rodriguez spent nearly two weeks in the hospital and had surgery to remove part of her colon and small intestine. She is expected to make a full recovery.

An Austin police officer shot and killed Huynh at a nearby car dealership when he fired on officers. They found his roommate and friend, Phu Truong, 26, dead of a gunshot wound inside the home the two men shared in North Austin.

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