Local News

Woman Paralyzed After Being Shot While Lying In Bed

Posted October 14, 2005 5:45 a.m. EDT

— Harnett County authorities said Friday that they are investigating the shooting of a woman who was injured while lying in bed Tuesday night.

Sheriff's deputies in Harnett County said that Cynthia Patterson, 51, was in her house at 2776 McLean Chapel Church Road, Bunnlevel, when several shots were fired into the house at 11:49 p.m. Tuesday. One of the rounds struck Patterson in her upper body and she is now paralyzed from the waist down, police said.

Patterson, who is a teacher at South Harnett Elementary School, is being treated at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. Doctors have not been able to remove the bullet from Patterson's body.

Police said nine bullets were fired into Patterson's mobile home, ripping through the aluminum siding off the house. The fifth-grade teacher was sitting in bed and grading papers when the bullets came through the wall.

Keith Lee, who is engaged to Patterson's sister, lives next door and says he heard the shots.

"We [are] going to make it, we [are] definitely going to make it, we [are] going to make it," Lee said. "She [is] going to be just like this here and walk around and go on cruises and things that she always did."

Lee said he believes the shooter had a gripe with Patterson's son.

Parents who send their children to South Harnett Elementary School are surprised this happened. "I was just shocked, couldn't believe it," Samantha Figueroa said.

Allen Judd said he was dating Patterson's cousin. He stopped by the scene Friday and said, "Drive-by shootings and stuff. People don't use to do this stuff. " The Harnett County Sheriff's Office has identified possible suspects and is following numerous leads. Sheriff's officials said they have no evidence to indicate that Patterson was the target of the shooting.

In the meantime, Patterson's students made get-well cards, many of which say "Hope you feel better" and the school "misses you."

Anyone with information on this incident should contact the Harnett County Sheriff's Office at

(910) 893-9111