MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro mother was simply putting up her Christmas tree with her young daughter when bullets started hitting her home, one coming inside through a window and barely missing them.
“I was already dragging and hesitating about putting my tree up anyway,” Mary Merrell said. “We were putting the ornaments on the tree because we have just gotten done putting the lights on.”
Merrell said she, her 10-year-old daughter, and her son’s girlfriend were standing right in front of a picture window when the shots were rapidly fired.
“It was like a repeated ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!’ It just went by so fast,” she said, adding, “I heard the first hit the window and I just dove down. We were all right here in a pile. I ended up on top of them.”
Merrell, who has religious sayings, angels, and praying hands decorating her living room, said she believes the bullets missed them for a reason.
“We were standing right here in front of the window, straight where the bullets came through at, so to me it was nothing but God. I’m able to live and talk about it and nobody was hurt,” she said. “I’m covered, so I’m a true believer and I got a lot of faith.”
Merrell said when the gunfire stopped, they heard screeching tires as the gunman fled. She said she ran outside and jumped into her SUV to chase the fleeing vehicle when she realized her car had been hit by bullets, too.
Police who were in the neighborhood heard the gunshots, but by the time they made it to the home, the suspect was nowhere to be found.
The mother said she believes the shooting may have been in retaliation for a comment made on Instagram by her son after someone made a negative post joking about a shooting in Murfreesboro.
“It was scary for me because for the simple fact a threat was issued, but to think they would come down and carry it out,” the mother said.
She’s thankful no one was hurt.
“You got to worry about being in the comfort of your own home dodging bullets because you have these people who want to be street thugs,” Merrell said.
“A big blessing so I’ve got the best Christmas present there is knowing I’m going to live another day,” she added.
Merrell met with Murfreesboro police detectives and turned over the Instagram messages.
Detectives are trying to figure out who the man is since he used a different name for his user account.