Crete Survivor of Shooting Speaks Out for First Time

Elizabeth Luong

By: Kelly Sommariva
ksommariva@klkntv.com

Elizabeth Luong has quite a story to tell.  Out of the blue, a gunman opens fire on her.

It happened at the Americold Plant in Crete nearly two years ago.

Today, Luong, a survivor, was reunited with her trauma surgeon after more than a year and opened up to us about a special honor for both of them.

Luong said, “It was just like a nightmare. Something you would never ever think would happen.  Not in a small town.”

September 23, 2010.

Disgruntled employee Akouch Kashoual opens fire in Crete.  Before turning the gun on himself.

“I was shot twice at first and then stumbled outside and he was above me, this blank look on his face on his eyes, and just smiled as he was shooting me,” said Luong.

Luong was shot a total of eleven times.

“Felt like, a burning sensation going right through you,” she said. 

She was flown to the Bryan LGH Trauma Center.  Where Dr. Stanley Okosun and his team of 40 were preparing for her arrival. 

Okosun said, “It was very difficult as a trauma surgeon, you're trained to save lives but just looking at her when she came in and seeing the amount of gunshots to her chest and abdomen. I knew her injuries were severe.”

Luong was awake the entire time.  Thinking of her family kept her alive until she was wheeled into the operating room.

Luong said, “Once I got here to the hospital I knew I was in good hands.”

She spent 38 days in the hospital.

“I went through so many surgeries, lost count after 12,” she said.

Okosun said, “We saved her life.”

Bryan LGH said for that, they'll honor Okosun and Luong as this year's “Trauma Champions.” on Thursday night.

“The kind of trauma center we have, the kind of people we have, they are all the champions who helped take care of Elizabeth,” Okosun said.

“I love my doctor,” said Luong

Luong has only been as far as the Americold parking lot.  She said she doesn't ever want to go back there.

Right now she is enjoying being a newlywed and working on a book of her experiences.