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2 weeks after shooting, Tullos family reunited under one roof; recovery continues

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There are plenty of moments to cheer but only the special ones call for a parade and Friday, August 13, only a parade would do.

“We were crying; we were balling, crying,” said Vandy Tullos. “So grateful for these people and they’ve lifted us up from a horrible, horrible thing and it just feels like it’s turning into something good.”

Two weeks ago, the thought of balloons lining the street in front of the Tullos’ home was just a distant thought. Debbie Tullos and her daughter, Rachel, were simply trying to go get coffee after a COVID test when their car was ambushed by a man trying to carjack them.

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“At that point in time, I thought my wife and daughter were dead. I just, I saw what was there but then I said they’re not going to be dead. And I went in there and I just kept saying they’re not, they’re not, they’re not dead but I went in there and there they were,” added Vandy.

Rachel was shot in the shoulder. Debbie had a bullet go through her face. Throughout the heartache and unknown, Vandy said the thought of bringing his wife and daughter home paired with prayers kept his head up and hopeful Friday would come.

“I felt it. I had to feel it. I wanted to feel it and I think I was given comfort that it was going to be that they were going to be OK,” he explained.

So, when Debbie came jutting out of his truck, almost running into her daughter’s arms, it was a moment of happiness in its most pure form and a feeling that was shared by everyone who showed up to welcome Debbie home.

“You can tell she’s loved and we love her,” said James Edwards, Debbie’s cousin. “But to see her home, it’s wonderful, and Rachel, too.”

“All the prayers, we’ve had thousands and thousands of prayers and comments and she’s just loved by so many people and we were surrounded by that love,” added Carolynn Rice, Debbie’s sister.

Now, as Debbie and Rachel continue their recovery, Vandy said his family has gained something; a family that’s closer than ever before.

“I’m just going to hug those two all I can, tell them I love them, and you know, it’s great,” he said.

Edwards said the family has also learned a valuable lesson, one in which they hope everyone will listen to.

“Keep in touch with our people. You never know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, so keep in touch with your people. Everybody,” noted Edwards.

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