COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Police arrested a man Thursday, almost six years to the day of a shooting that left an innocent young woman paralyzed.
Drakkar D. Groce, 25, was arrested and charged with felonious assault. He appeared in court Friday morning.
The shooting happened on May 27, 2010 near the intersection of Atcheson Street and Trivette Avenue.
According to police, Alexandria Reese was in the area driving a friend home when she became lost. As she was turning around, she heard gunshots.
Reese was struck in the neck by a stray bullet, which instantly paralyzed her from the neck down. Reese lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a parked car. The bullet severed her cervical spine and spinal cord.
A neighbor ran to her car and grabbed her throat to stop what appeared to be uncontrollable bleeding. Over several weeks, she was stabilized at the Cleveland Clinic.
Reese remains on a ventilator and moves using a special chair that is controlled by sips and puffs.
Alix loves movies and books, and has trained herself to use a mouth stick to write on Facebook.
“I get people from other countries who are quadriplegic and they want to be my friend, which is really interesting,” she told NBC4’s Cabot Rea in 2015.
Investigators were able to determine that those involved in the shooting were targeting a group of individuals across the street when Reese drove into the line of fire.
A Franklin County judge set Groce’s bond at one million dollars. He remains in the Franklin County Jail.
Alix Reese said she had a lot going through her mind Friday morning when she first learned Groce had been arrested.
“Every kind of emotion I could think of, anger, relief, more relief than anything, ” explained Reese.
Reese’s mother, Nancy Cox, said the news was a huge relief.
“Here’s a burden off my shoulder. Here’s justice for my daughter. There is closure,” said Cox. Reese said she has not been able to forgive Groce.
But she says she is trying to remain positive thanks to some helpful advice from nurses who have treated her along the way.
“When I had my bad days they would talk me through and say, “you know it’s okay to cry. Just don’t let it ruin your whole day,” explained Reese.
The case was featured by Crime Stoppers twice as a ‘Crime of the Week’ with a $2,000 reward offered for tips leading to an arrest.
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