BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Frantic 911 calls do not quite capture the absolute horror Fanta Lee says she lived through when someone launched what she describes as a bomb into her Avenue J home back on April 20, 2018.
"We woke up to like loud noise," said Lee. "It was like a loud boom noise."
She immediately hit the floor and desperately crawled over to her husband and two teenage sons. Huddled there in the hallway, she says her husband called the police.
Below is an excerpt of the call Lee's husband made to 911 at 4:50 a.m.
Lee says no officer ever showed up to her home following the initial call.
"We were just looking for a light flashing or something or somebody to let us know it was safe. Maybe like the 911 operator to could have called us back and let us know somebody was outside so we could get up out of there but nobody called us back and nobody knocked at the door," Lee recalled.
After waiting for about 30 minutes, Lee said her family slowly started moving around again but were too terrified to look outside. The moment they separated though, she says someone sprayed the house with bullets.
"It was so many, I couldn't keep count," Lee said. "All I heard was whistling past my head."
Three of those bullets from the second attack hit her 16-year-old son.
"I couldn't take the pain away, I couldn't really help him and it hurt me so bad," said Lee.
Until the bullets stopped flying though she said she was frozen and unable to do anything to help.
"It seemed like forever. We waited until it stopped and as soon as it stopped, that's when I called 911 again," Lee added.
Below is an excerpt of the second call Lee made to 911 at 5:25 a.m.
With her son lying in a pool of blood, Lee said she could not help but feel abandoned, especially because her husband told the 911 operator he wanted to talk with police once they arrived the first time.
WAFB's Scottie Hunter asked Lee if she felt like the ordeal could have been prevented.
"I felt like it could have been prevented when we called 911 the first time," Lee responded. "If somebody's saying they need that contact, you have to give them that contact. I don't think they even came. That's how I feel... like they didn't show up."
Police say an officer did respond to the initial call, as records from the incident report indicate, after an alert from the shotspotter camera as well as the phone call. The second time police arrived, they worked the scene, where they recovered an explosive device from the home before detonating it in a nearby field.
Lee says she is not interested in blaming the police department but instead is facing an even bigger struggle. Her son survived the shooting but now has a number of staples on both sides of his arm.
Between his doctor's visits and trying to find a safe place to live, Lee says they have had to shuffle from hotel room to hotel room and now things are pretty tight financially.
"We basically right now are just trying to survive, trying to keep a roof over our heads and get him to his appointments," said Lee.
According to Lee, the family has tried to get housing assistance but have hit roadblocks. She says most of their extended family lives close to their old home, which is not a good option because they are afraid of retaliation.
Lee's family has set up a GoFundMe account here: https://www.gofundme.com/p2xpr-please-help-us
"It's been hard. It's been nights I cry myself to sleep when everybody's sleep just so they wouldn't see me," Lee admitted. "We need some counseling to try and help us get over this situation because it's basically been us trying to deal with the situation."
Lee says the worst part about the ordeal is not knowing exactly who attacked her family or why. They believe it was retaliation and that the shooter thinks her husband may have cooperated with an investigation into another case which led to an arrest but they do not know for sure.
"We didn't ask for this," Lee said. "None of us did."
While she is grateful her son is okay and her family is still together, Lee says they are desperate and need help.
"We're a praying family and we're just praying for better days," said Lee.
The family is being represented by the William Most Firm in New Orleans.
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