Bourbon Street shooting victim speaks out

Amy Matthews (Source: Facebook)
Amy Matthews (Source: Facebook)

Amy Matthews is a 21-year-old Australian native who came to New Orleans to celebrate her recent graduation. She ended up a victim in a high profile shooting that's making international news.

Matthews spoke to The West Australian newspaper about what happened.

She said she was walking with a friend in the 700 block of Bourbon Street when bullets started flying early Sunday morning.

As people ran for cover, some crawling to get away, Matthews told the paper she felt the extreme heat of a bullet penetrate her face.

She said her mouth filled with blood and she collapsed to the ground.

Gunnery Sgt. William McDaniel was working as a bouncer at a nearby club.

"We saw the first victim that was lying out on the street. Then we immediately looked down to our front door and that's when I saw Amy. She had blood all over her. I ran down stairs and took her in my arms. I made sure everybody got back that didn't have any training. We just tried to keep her calm," says Gunnery Sgt. McDaniel.

McDaniel has been a U.S. Marine for the past 13-years and has been medically trained. However, he says he never thought he'd use his training on Bourbon Street.

He says a Navy Corpsman, who just happened to be on Bourbon at the time, also jumped in to help.

"It's the one thing a U.S. Marine wants to hear that a Navy Corpsman is by your side," says Gunnery Sgt. McDaniel.

The two men did their best to keep Matthews calm. She was rushed to the hospital along with nine other victims.

Matthews told The West Australian the bullet entered her right cheek and existed through her top lip, causing extensive injuries to her gums and teeth.

She has more than 30 stitches in her tongue and has a long recovery ahead of her. Matthews is now out of the hospital and her story is going viral.

A Facebook page Repair Amy's Smile has been created.

Hundreds of people are reaching out to Matthews.

Greg Cartwright writes:

As a New Orleanian, I am saddened, angered and embarrassed by the senseless act and apologize on behalf of all who live here. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Matthews is planning to head back to Australia tomorrow.

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