Alisha Waters Mathis update: Family says victim is in 'high spirits'

CINCINNATI - A Northern Kentucky woman remains in critical condition after being shot by her estranged husband in an attempted murder-suicide nearly two weeks ago.

Police say Alisha Waters Mathis, 31, was tracked down and shot by Dennis Mathis, 32, on her way to work at Personal Touch Home Health Care on 20 North Grand Ave. in Fort Thomas just before 8 a.m. on Aug. 6.

According to police reports, Dennis Mathis chased his wife into the three-story brick office building, shooting her several times before turning the gun on himself. He died at the scene and Waters Mathis was hospitalized.

The victim's family held a press conference Monday evening where they announced plans to fight changes in domestic violence protection orders for Waters Mathis, who lays paralyzed on a ventilator at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Family members, including Waters Mathis' mother, father, uncle and siblings, said they believe her estranged husband might not have been able to buy the gun he got just days before the incident, if a judge had granted Waters Mathis the domestic violence protection order she sought.

"The judge had every opportunity to grant it based on that fact that she was in fear for her physical safety," said the victim's uncle Edde Scudder.

According to court records, Waters Mathis had been separated from her husband of five years since March and told a court in her petition for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) that he had been verbally abusing her, texting her and calling her repeatedly.

On April 16, a judge granted the order which restricted Mathis to stay more than 500 feet from her. But six days later, and on the same day as he filed for divorce, a judge dismissed the protective order, saying there was "no allegation of domestic violence."

The family says Waters Mathis did all she could to stay safe but the system that was suppose to protect her didn't.

"What else does a woman have to do to prove she is in fear for her life?....Does she have to be cut for hit? Does it have to physical abuse for this to be granted?" said Kurt Russel, the victim's brother.

Through her recovery, however, Waters Mathis' mother says she still has her same personality and is helping other family members cope.

"She can't move her arms she can't move her legs, she can't move her feet...She can barely move her head but she gets us through because she is in such high spirits," said Tammy Russell of her paralyzed daughter.

"The only thing that is getting me through is I go in in the morning and she is smiling and talking and when I leave in the evening she is smiling and talking but she remembers everything that happened," added her mother.

The family is asking for prayers, good wishes and donations to help Waters Mathis in this very long recovery process. Donations can be made at any Bank of Kentucky in the name "Alisha Mathis."

9 On Your Side reporter Natasha Williams contributed to this report.

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