UK fan shot in South Carolina returns one year later to thank doctors


BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- It was one year ago this week that Bourbon County native Denise Massey was shot in the face while in South Carolina for a UK football game.

It was just after 2 a.m. Saturday, September 16th, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina.

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“I remember everything. We had gone to Pearlz Oyster Bar and we had dinner there and we were just walking around in the vista area, going to different restaurants,” said Denise Massey.

Denise Massey and Jimmy Brannon were in town for the UK-South Carolina football game.

“We were just circulating around, getting ready for the ball game the next day,” said Jimmy Brannon.

But then in the blink of an eye, everything changed.

“I saw the fire actually come out of the gun barrel and I saw two people hanging out of the car ad that’s when I felt the impact of the bullet,” said Massey.

Massey was shot in the face, one of eight people injured in a shooting police say broke out between two feuding groups.

“It happened so fast that you just can’t believe it. It’s just unreal,” said Brannon.

Massey was in the hospital in South Carolina for weeks as doctors worked to save her life.

“It was touch and go there for several days while she was in the ICU,” said Brannon.

Eventually Massey was able to come home, she and Brannon got married and just recently got a dog.

“It’s been awesome other than the one event, it’s been really really good,” said Massey.

But there was one thing both still wanted to do.

“We kind of had jointly this idea of this whole gift package to give to the doctors,” said Brannon.

So this week, on the one year anniversary of the shooting, they went back to South Carolina to surprise the doctors who saved Massey’s life.

“I actually kept the armbands I had while I was in the hospital. But I just picked it up and all three were dangling and I was like here you can have these back because I don’t need them anymore,” said Massey.

With this chapter officially behind them, Massey and Brannon say they’re ready to get back to supporting their beloved cats.

“We’ll probably go to the South Carolina game. Of course that’s here,” said Brannon.