Shooting victim released from hospital

Leader Reporter

NEOPIT Teresa Haack was enjoying a late night snack at her mother's home, holding her one-year-old daughter while seated at the dining room table. Haack, along with family and friends, had just celebrated the start of the new year.

Suddenly, the Keshena was laying on the floor, the room in total darkness. As the sirens blared, Haack wondered what would happen to her children.

Haack, 26, was struck in the head by the bullet shortly after midnight Jan. 1. She doesn't remember everything about that night, but what she does recall is "frightening and scary."

Teresa said she can remember the wail of the sirens from the ambulance and squad cars as they rushed her to the hospital. She said she also remembers people kept asking her questions so she would not drift into unconsciousness.

"But I don't remember feeling any pain," said Teresa. "I tried to keep my eyes closed. Everything was black but I could tell the vision in my right eye was starting to slowly return."

She was released Wednesday from Theda Clark Regional Medical Center in Neenah. She is now recovering in the home were she was wounded.

Teresa and her mother Donna said the night was supposed to be a happy one. Teresa, her two small children, Donna, Donna's fiancee Larry Mott and others were at Donna's house to celebrate the start of the new year.

Teresa had just gone into the dining room to sit down at the table with her one-year-old daughter Monnee in her arms. They were going to eat some pizza. They then heard the gun shots.

"It all happened so very fast," said Teresa. "I heard the shot and felt something strike my temple. I couldn't feel it, but I had lost all of my vision in both eyes."

According to Donna, Larry heard a pop and then saw the blood on Teresa. Donna says Monnee slowly slipped from Teresa's arms and onto her legs.

"Larry yelled for a towel or something," said Donna. "Teresa had a lot of blood and we tried to stop the bleeding. We then called for the ambulance."

"I was concerned about my babies," said Teresa, who also has a son Michael, who's nearly 2. "I also kept thinking am I going to die?"

Teresa's doctors told her she is lucky to be alive, Donna said.

"They said if the bullet had struck her in the head two centimeters over she would have been dead on the spot," Donna said. "She has permanently lost the sight in her left eye, but there will apparently be no other long-term effects."

Donna said it's a miracle her daughter is alive and that her granddaughter was unhurt in the incident.

Teresa will be spending the next several weeks at her mother's home and Donna says she will help her get back on her feet.

Right now, Teresa says she's walking around the house, but slowly and is taking medication for pain in her head, neck and face.

According to FBI special agent and spokesman Brian Manganello, the investigation of the incident is continuing.

"We're waiting for the results of tests on some forensic evidence," said Manganello. "Right now, no one is in custody and we're unsure if anyone will be arrested when the investigation is completed."

Menominee Tribal Police said previously that four adults were questioned in connection with the incident and one juvenile material witness was released into the custody of his parents after questioning.

Some members of the Haack family, who were in the Neopit home at the time of the incident, have said authorities suspect a stray bullet may have come from guns fired in a building down the street from Donna Haack's home.

They say shots were heard both shortly before and after midnight. They may have been fired in celebration to signal the start of the new year. A bullet may have then somehow strayed and gone through Haack's front window.

Teresa said after she has taken a few weeks to recover she will decide about her future. Donna said she will take care of her daughter and her daughter's children so she can concentrate on making as full a recovery as possible.

By Joe Vandel
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