AKRON, Ohio — Tracy Blackmon's left leg is bandaged after two bones near her ankle were shattered by a bullet. Steel rods are keeping her foot in place. Aside from the intense physical pain, the 40-year-old mother of six children, is also coping with emotional trauma.
"It's terrible. Everything changed. I can't do nothing and then I've got to depend on everybody. It just hurts. I'm constantly in pain," Blackmon said while holding back tears during an interview inside her Akron home.
Last Thursday night, Tracy and her husband, Darion Blackmon, were sitting in the stands at Ellet Stadium watching the football game between East and Firestone. Their son and nephew play for East.
Just before halftime, chaos ensued.
"We were just sitting up, just laughing and joking about them playing and stuff. The only thing I know, I just heard something sound like it exploded," Tracy said.
Darion realized someone was shooting in the stadium and told Tracy to run. She tried, but fell.
"He tried to pull me up. He's still trying to go. He's like, 'Get up. Get up.' I'm like, 'Okay," and I fell again.
She got up, but fell a third time. Moments later, Darion realized Tracy had been shot and she began to feel the pain.
"We looked down and there was blood all over my pants and on my shoes and he had pulled it up and saw that I was shot in the leg," Tracy told News 5.
Tracy's son, also named Darion, was on the football field and heard the gunshots followed by his dad yelling.
"My dad was like, 'D, your mom got shot!' So I had to try to like run and get over the fence and stuff to try and help her come down the stairs," he said.
Tracy was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital where she underwent surgery to stabilize her lower leg. She's scheduled to have a second surgery on Friday when doctors are expected to remove the rods and replace them with plates and screws. She will also need a bone graft.
"They already told me I'll probably never walk the same," Tracy said. "They said I'll probably be able to walk, but I won't walk like I used to."
Akron police said the violence began when two teens got into an altercation in the stands. One of them pulled out a gun and shot the other — who is 19-years-old — according to Lt. Michael Miller. Tracy was struck by a stray bullet.
"I didn't see it coming at all, didn't even have a clue. I'd rather it be my foot than not being here," she said.
After the shooting, the Akron Public School District canceled football and soccer games scheduled for last weekend.
Games will be played this weekend with extra police officers. The district will also add metal detectors and search all bags.
But Tracy feels like part of her security was stolen on that terrifying night.
"I'm nervous," she said. "Sometimes when I hear a loud noise, it scares me. I don't know how I'm going to feel when I make it back to the field."