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Shooting victim recalls "super scary" ordeal at WOW Hall

Image used with permission from Mayo Finch.
In a still frame from a video shot the night of January 14, law enforcement and WOW Hall staff and patrons fill the back lot after the shooting.

A man in a hooded sweatshirt who opened fire at a rap concert Friday night, in Eugene, is still being sought by police. Six people were wounded at the WOW Hall, with one in critical condition.

One person who’s been released from the hospital is Aaleigha Tynan, a mother of four who was at the concert with her boyfriend. She talked to KLCC’s Brian Bull yesterday at the back entrance of the concert venue, where the shooting happened.

Tynan: I’m not even out here for two minutes, and shots started going off. Bullets were flying, and…I just ran, my purse and phone were gone, I lost my shoes. It was super scary. All I could think about was just getting home to my kids. And not dying, I guess.

Bull: At what point Aaleigha, did you realize that you were hit by a bullet?

Tynan: Once I was able to get behind the car right over here, I kinda felt the back of my leg, it was cold. And there was holes in my pants, and I still then didn’t realize it was a bullet, I thought I ripped it when I jumped over the rail. And then I felt it again, because it started burning, and there was blood, and it definitely could be worse like if it was any further into my leg. I don’t know how many stitches I got, it was quite a few. I’m walking so it’s good.

For now, I don’t really feel safe going out for events. If I do, I want to make sure they’re heavily secured. Anyway, everyone should feel safe like that I guess, in this town, we don’t think stuff like that happens because it doesn’t really happen here.

Bull: It’s Eugene, Oregon, after all.

Tynan: It’s Eugene, Oregon.

Bull: It’s a pretty quiet little city.

Aaleigha Tynan, behind the WOW Hall.
Brian Bull
Aaleigha Tynan of Springfield, out of the hospital and at the back of the WOW Hall where the shooting erupted.

Tynan: Exactly, so I would think that…I’ve came here for events even since middle school and it’s always been fine.

Bull: I’m sure your mom was relieved to find you home.

Tynan: Yeah, everyone was for sure, I got home and just lay in bed with my kids. That’s all I wanted to do.

Bull: When you were here, your mom was describing to me a scene of pandemonium, I guess your boyfriend called, and she’s trying to get information and a Eugene Police officer came on the line and told her that your leg was being looked at, and there was a tourniquet applied. Do you feel like the police and first responders did a good job responding to this incident?

Tynan: Yeah, I do. I think they did a really good job. Of course in a moment like that, it seems like it takes forever for any help to come, but in reality they were here really quick. They did a real good job making sure everything was secure and safe before getting anyone out, and they did whatever they could for us before we got to the hospital. As well as the EMTs and everybody. So it was great.

Bull: How many children do you have? 

Tynan: I have four. My oldest is five, and I have twins who are one, and a six-month-old boy.

Bull: Have you been able to communicate to your five-year-old exactly what happened to you?

Video image used with permission from Mayo Finch.
In a still image from a video taken Jan. 14, personnel from several law enforcement agencies and emergency services tend to the wounded and prompt concertgoers away from the crime scene.

Tynan: In the best way that I can. She’s really smart, but she’s only five. So she doesn’t know much about gun violence or anything like that. So I just let her know that I’m okay and everyone’s okay, and you just have to make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings and be careful.

Bull: The police are still trying to get leads and tips from the public, and were having trouble getting that Friday night.  And the suspect is still at large. Do you have any encouragement for people to step forward?

Tynan: By all means if you can, do. There’s a bunch of innocent people that were affected by this, physically, mentally, emotionally. It was just an unnecessary thing.

BB:   Well, Aaleigha, thank you so much for your time, and I wish you a speedy recovery and I hope that you and your kids have some good recuperating time together.

Tynan: Yeah, me too. Thank you.

The Eugene Police Department has set up a tip line specifically for the WOW Hall mass shooting incident of January 14. That number is (541)682-5162.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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