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Shooting victim still looking over her shoulder months later

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 25 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 26 2012 09:04:50 AM CST

This Christmas one woman from Reading is lucky to be alive after being shot in the neck.

READING, Pa. -

This Christmas one woman from Reading is lucky to be alive after being shot in the neck.

But she says Christmas doesn't feel much like a holiday. She says it's more like a nightmare that just won't end.

This young mother has just one Christmas wish -- to get her life back.

After being shot and almost losing her life months ago she says she still looks over her shoulder, fearing the worst.

The wounds are still visible.

Tiara Reppert, 18, says the bullet entered one side of her neck and exited the other.

"I was choking on my own blood," she said. "It was just gushing out. I was choking on my blood."

Tiara was shot in September in the 1100 block of Robeson Street in Reading.

But things got even worse for Tiara. While she was fighting for her life the hospital she says Children & Youth Services took custody of her 7-month-old daughter, Joscelyn.

Tiara says she hasn't been the same since.

"I feel like somebody is just going to come up and creep up on me. I'm scared," she said.

Police have since arrested a teenager from Reading, Matthew Cirillo, in connection with the crime.

But this family says that doesn't make them feel any safer this Christmas.

"My heart everyday pounds out of my chest," said Tonya Gonzalez. "Because I worry when she goes somewhere, everything. I go with her everywhere because I'm scared."

Tiara says the shooting was sparked by a disagreement with Cirillo's family.

She says if she asked the alleged gunman a question it would be 'why?'

"I didn't do nothing," said Reppert. "It's like God wanted this to happen, but obviously not, he wanted me to have a second chance in life because I'm somebody."

Tiara says she wishes harm to no one and on this Christmas night she says she does forgive her attacker.