Woman shot outside OTR bar: 'I still have a long road ahead'

Ellie Richardson (Facebook/Ellie Richardson Recovery)
Ellie Richardson (Facebook/Ellie Richardson Recovery)

OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - The woman who was shot in the face as she left work at Lachey's Bar has released her first statement since the Thanksgiving Day attack.

Ellie Richardson is out of the hospital but faces more surgery. She posted a grateful message to Facebook Thursday thanking the community for support.

"I still have a long road ahead of me, and one more surgery to go, but things have been moving along at a miraculous rate," Richardson wrote. The next surgery will repair her cheek bone, eye socket and a few other fractures, according to a YouCaring page that has raised more than $77,000 for Richardson's medical expenses.

[98 Degrees to hold benefit concert for OTR bartender hurt in shooting]

"It has been truly amazing to see this community pull together in such a time and do this for me. I will spend the rest of my life figuring out a way to show you all how blessed I feel!" the post reads.

Richardson said all the positivity and prayers helped her speedy recovery.

Richardson spoke out the same day that Lavoris Hightower, 36, turned himself in to police in connection with the shooting.

In his first court appearance, Hightower's lawyer said police have the wrong man.

Police had been following tips and examining surveillance video since the shooting.

According to investigators, Hightower nearly ran over Richardson with his van near Lachey's Bar on 12th street in Over-the-Rhine. Richardson approached the van and that is when Hightower fired one shot that hit her in the face, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Deters called the crime "unbelievable."

Nick Lachey and Drew Lachey and their pop group "98 Degrees" are holding a Dec. 15 benefit concert for her at the Aronoff. Proceeds will help Richardson in her recovery. Tickets are now on sale.

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