NKY woman shot by husband in 2013 succumbs to injuries

A Northern Kentucky woman who became an advocate for stronger domestic violence laws after her...
A Northern Kentucky woman who became an advocate for stronger domestic violence laws after her estranged husband shot her nearly nine years ago has died. Alisha Waters, 39, of Florence, passed away last week, on Thursday, Feb. 17, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, according to her obituary.(Provided by Ronald B. Jones Funeral Home)
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 7:48 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - A Northern Kentucky woman who became an advocate for stronger domestic violence laws after her estranged husband shot her nearly nine years ago has died.

Alisha Waters, 39, of Florence, passed away last week, on Thursday, Feb. 17, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, according to her obituary at Ronald B. Jones Funeral home.

She was shot several times on Aug. 6, 2013, when she arrived for work at an office building on Grand Avenue in Fort Thomas.

Her estranged husband, D.J. Mathis, then turned the gun on himself in what Fort Thomas police said at the time was an attempted murder/suicide. Mathis was 32 and died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Alisha Waters was attempting to get into the elevator when she was shot five times.
Alisha Waters was attempting to get into the elevator when she was shot five times.
D.J. Mathis
D.J. Mathis(Connley Brothers Funeral Home)

Alisha fought for years to recover from the shooting, which left her a quadriplegic. She underwent treatment as far as Georgia at one point.

According to the fundraising website YouCaring.com, she went to the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta hospital that specializes in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation.

The shooting left her quadriplegic. A video uploaded to YouTube in September 2013 showed her moving her arm.

Shortly after the shooting, Fort Thomas police announced their investigation was closed and said they found no evidence Mathis was stalking his estranged wife.

Police say, however, that Mathis did call Waters’ family members the weekend before he shot her claiming to be a police dispatcher in an attempt to get her address.

In a Facebook post last year, Alisha reflected on her situation in detail, writing that her husband had sent her more than 180 text messages in less than a month before he shot her.

“My life reminds me of a Lifetime movie. There are no commercials, just blank moments in time,” she wrote. “Rewind to April 10, 2013.

“I had filed for an Emergency Protection Order, seeking security from my husband. I was granted that order so ten days later, I went before the Judge requesting a Domestic Violence Order, (which provides protection from family or a partner). I had explained that I left my husband a month prior, and that I was being harassed through numerous text messages and voicemail. The calls amounted to 186 or more in just a three-week period. They were demeaning; they were degrading; they were threatening. I explained that he was mentally ill, had been seen by a psychiatrist and was probably off his medications.

“I was denied that Domestic Violence order. The Judge ruled that since there were no signs of physical or sexual assault that there wasn’t a need for a DVO. I felt betrayed. Here I was, begging for help, and now I was being turned away?

“Had I been granted that DVO, I feel I may not be a quadriplegic nor sitting in this chair before you today. People say, “Well it was just a piece of paper, it wouldn’t have protected you anyway.” I feel it may have. Had I had that piece of paper, my estranged husband wouldn’t have legally been able to purchase that gun. A background check would have denied him the right to have a gun based on the DVO.

“Flashback to August 6th, 2013.

“I was standing in the lobby of work, praying for the elevator. It was nearly time for me to clock in, and I didn’t want to be late. It may have been easier (and wiser) to take the stairs. Nonetheless I was waiting patiently, when I felt someone’s eyes on me.. It was my husband, DJ. Gun pointed perfectly at me. He had a satanic look in his eye. It was that awful moment I realized he wasn’t playing around.

“Where was that damn elevator?

“DJ please”, I begged, but he showed me no mercy. The first shot was fired,.. that was the point of no return. I found myself in survival mode; throwing my purse, at the office door in front of me, hoping for someone’s attention.. But no one came to my rescue.

“Three more shots rang out, and still no one came to help.

“I can’t recall exactly when it was that I crumbled to the ground, but soon I heard what would be the last shot he would fire at me. It was then that I heard a little voice say “play dead!” It could have been my conscience? Maybe my guardian angel? Who knows, quite possibly even my God!

“I could feel the elevator door slamming hard against my head. I had fallen like a puppet with cut strings when the bullets ripped through my body. How ironic, the elevator had come too late.

“I saw him raise the gun towards his own head.. Then my eyes closed, and my mind took me far, far away.

“All I thought about yesterday was that fateful day 8 years ago. I’m here, yes I’m alive, but what about the gunman, he should be here enjoying life, still with his family & friends. Mental illness is a huge problem in our society & it just seems like it’s swept under the rug; why, these people deserve attention, education & counseling just like any other sick person. Maybe I wouldn’t be stuck in this chair, maybe he’d be here today had more people other than his family, took the time to pay attention to the signs & red flags!”

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.

Copyright 2022 WXIX. All rights reserved.