FORT THOMAS, Ky. -- The man police say ambushed and shot his estranged wife at a Fort Thomas office building Tuesday morning may have had more than one target.
Police said Alisha Waters Mathis, 31, was tracked down and shot by Dennis Mathis on her way to work at Personal Touch Home Health Care on 20 North Grand Avenue just before 8 a.m.
But on most days, Waters Mathis wasn’t alone on her route to work. Her boyfriend would drive her.
Nellie Gamble said her grandson drove Waters Mathis to work because she feared her estranged husband.
Just months before the incident, Waters Mathis told a court she worried about being physically harmed.
"I am in fear for the safety of myself and my two dogs,'' she said, according to the Kenton County court records. Just four months prior, she had a protective order against him dismissed.
According to reports, Mathis, 32, 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 she remains hospitalized.
But one decision Waters Mathis made may have saved her boyfriend's life.
Gamble said Waters Mathis’ decision to drive herself to work on Tuesday is the reason her grandson is still standing.
“She saved him she did,” Gamble said. “I believe he meant to kill him and her and she just happened to tell [my grandson] to go lay back down and get your rest.”
She said her grandson and her daughter offered Waters Mathis a safe haven, and her grandson has not left her side since she was hospitalized.
According to Boone County records, Waters Mathis married her husband on July 26, 2008. Kenton County Circuit Court records state the two had not been living together since March.
Gamble said her grandson Justin has been dating Waters Mathis for a year.
The records state Mathis filed for divorce on April 22, 2013, saying her marriage was irretrievably broken. Family members said the two have no children.
Family members also said she was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center after the shooting where she remains in critical condition. Officials reported she was released from surgery at about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.
"We are asking for a lot of thoughts and prayers,” Waters Mathis’ brother, Kurt Russell, said.