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Deputy Katie Barnes tears up while testifying about being shot

'Am I'm going to die?' she wondered
Tearful deputy testifies about being shot
Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 22:09:09-04

LEBANON, Ohio – Deputy Katie Barnes was shaken as she faced her accused attacker Tuesday and testified about being shot with a rifle.

"What was running through your mind at that point?" the prosecutor asked her on the witness stand.

"'Am I going to die?'" Barnes replied.

Speaking publicly about the June 2016 shooting for the first time, Barnes had trouble getting through parts of her testimony. She teared up and said she would never forget the sound of the bullets.

"I had no feeling. I fell backward. I didn't know. I just knew it was gunfire," she said.

She said she didn’t realize she was shot until later as she was trying to get to safety.

"I'm moving my feet. Trying to get out. Survive," she said.

Deputy Katie Barnes testifies.

Barnes says she never got a look at the person who shot her. But prosecutors say it was Mohammed Laghaoui.

Barnes had been to Laghaoui's apartment building in Orchards of Landen earlier in the night. Laghaoui had been arguing with his father and brother about eating his father's hummus.

"It was very clear to me it was a dispute between the family members in the household," Barnes said.

So she left. But an hour later Laghaoui's brother called again saying Laghaoui threatened to kill him.

Laghaoui's attorney, Nadeem Quraishi, said his client was actually saying that to the people he was playing a video game with online.

"When he's talking on the video game, he says something along the lines of, 'I'm going to kill you,' to an opponent," Quraishi said.

Laghaoui left the apartment and returned after 10 p.m. armed with a rifle, deputies said. Sheriff Larry Sims initially described it as an AK 47; in court, prosecutors said it was an RAS 47.

Laghaoui's father and brother wouldn't let him in, so he shot through the door, striking his father in the hand. Sims previously said he then fired several times at Barnes from the top of the outdoor stairs; in court Tuesday, Assistant Prosecutor Travis Vieux said he shot at her from a parking lot area.

One bullet struck her gun belt and grazed her lower abdomen.

 

Laghaoui has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. In opening statements, Quraishi laid out a case that he had been acting strangely for months -- not eating or sleeping enough and was using a drug known as Spice.

"He had been telling his mom and his brother looking in the mirror, 'Do you see the snake? Pull it out,'" Quraishi said.

A psychologist testified in September that Laghaoui exhibited bizarre behavior and wasn't fit to stand trial, but a judge ruled otherwise.

Barnes, a former professional soccer player, had never used her gun in the line of duty before that night. She fired four shots at Laghaoui but didn't hit him.

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Jury members got a look at the apartments where the shooting happened. Laghaoui's attorney said in his mental state his client thought he was in danger. But Barnes said she didn't believe Laghaoui appeared mentally disturbed or on any kind of drugs.

The trial will continue Wednesday when jurors hear from Laghaoui's brother and listen to his 911 call for help. Prosecutors say they plan to call 20 witnesses and present 200 pieces of evidence during the trial.

Judge Timothy Tepe told jurors not to talk about the case.