Wounded teen urges gun safety

Thursday, August 28th 2008, 10:26 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Abby Means was rushed to a hospital after her friend accidentally shot her in the face.

The Putnam City North senior is now spending her final year in high school with a missing eye.

Means was at a party when a friend she trusted pointed what he thought was an empty BB gun at her. When he pulled the trigger, he forever changed Abby's life.

On the field, she's just another one of the girls, and off the soccer field Means is like any other 18-year-old. She juggles school, sports and a social life, but there's something that separates Means from the rest of her class.

"It wasn't as painful as much as people would think it was," Means said.

Means lost her left eye when she went to her friend's house, and one roommate found the other roommate's BB gun.

"He pointed it at me," Means said. "I was like, ‘Don't, that really scares me.'"

Thinking it was unloaded, the friend fired the gun and it hit Means directly in the eye.

"I didn't even know what was happening because it happened all so fast," Means said. "It didn't really hit me until I got to the hospital."

Doctors had little luck saving the eye and she is now waiting on a Prosthetic one that will look just like her other eye, so cosmetically everything will be fine,

Since sustaining the injury, Means' future as a soccer player has been put in jeopardy.

"She's got a lot of plans and you want to see her fulfill those," Abby Means' mother Sally Means said.

Abby Means and her parents, who are thankful it wasn't a real gun, said they hope the accident will serve as a warning to others.

"BB guns are not toys," Sally Means said. "They're not toys. They are nothing to goof around with."

For now, Abby Means is taking it one step at a time, one surgery at a time.

Her recover has been something that she said has been made easier than expected, thanks to her friends, family and coaches.

"Just never assume anything isn't loaded," Abby Means said.

Because Abby Means is facing a lifetime of surgeries and procedures for the eye's replacement, her family is seeking monetary damages by filing a suit against the owner of the gun and the man who pulled the trigger.