LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Jasmine Johnson clearly recalls the night of October 29 when she went to a house in Long Beach to celebrate a coworker’s birthday.
Around 30 people were gathered when someone opened fire on them from an alley behind the home on East 7th Street. Three men were killed and 9 others were injured, including Jasmine.
“Maybe 30 to 45 seconds after we headed outside, someone started firing,” the 28-year-old said. “The bullet hit me in my neck, and it went through my body and it came out the opposite side of my back and that’s how my spinal chord became damaged.”
Jasmine became paralyzed from the chest down. Since the shooting, Long Beach Police have been following leads to find who’s responsible. So far, they’ve identified three possible suspect vehicles.
Investigators say all three were caught on video traveling together at and near the scene. No motive has been determined yet, but detectives believe the suspects are involved in a gang.
“We were all work friends. We work together, and so I can’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt any of those people,” Johnson said. “Whoever was responsible for this should have to face the consequences.”
As police work to find the suspects, Jasmine is working too. Her doctor said 95% of people with her injury don’t recover. But Jasmine says she’s pushing forward in physical therapy and keeping a positive mindset.
“I still consider myself to be one of the lucky ones,” she said. “Although I am paralyzed, I don’t see myself paralyzed forever. I’m mindful of the fact this is a process and this is going to take time.”
No matter how long it takes, Jasmine said she is determined to get back on her feet. She played high school and college basketball. Then after college graduation, she found joy and success in bartending at a local casino. Jasmine says her injury has inspired and given her a new purpose.
“Hopefully I can become an advocate for people who have experienced similar trauma to what I’ve experienced,” she said. “I want to encourage people to continue to live an active life and continue to try.”
Jasmine has a fundraising page to help cover the cost of her physical therapy and equipment, which can be found here.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Long Beach Police. A $40,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.