Yuma shooting survivor speaks out

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PHOENIX - The sole survivor of a deadly shooting spree in Yuma is breaking her silence about the terrifying day and what lies ahead in her recovery.

Linda Clatone spoke from a Phoenix hospital Friday about the Yuma gunman who took the life of her best friend and four others.

Clatone said she had no idea who was shooting her or why, at 5am Thursday June 2, otherwise she would have called to warn her friends. Still when she was down on the ground, in trouble, the first person she called was her best friend Theresa Dyess, the shooter’s ex-wife.

“I wish I could have warned her but I didn't know it was him,” said Clatone. “I saw the gun come up and he shot me right here in the face and I ran to slam the door shut <but> somehow he shot me 6 more times.”

Turns out Clatone is the first person Carey Dyess, 73, shot during his June 2 shooting spree. He also killed five of her friends, including his ex-wife, Theresa, before killing himself.

“I loved those people they were good friends never did anything to harm anyone and I'm sorry the whole thing happened,” said Clatone.

But all six victims were targeted by Carey Dyess because they had each supported Theresa during their divorce in 2006 and each paid the ultimate price for it.

“My friend Theresa was a really decent human being,” said Clatone. Theresa was found dead at her home, shot to death by her ex. So were Henry and Cindy Finney.

“They were really sweet people never harmed anybody just gave her a trailer to live in while she went through her divorce,” said Clatone.

James Simpson was also shot to death. “He was her business partner,” And Jerrold Shelley was Theresa's divorce attorney.

“She was scared when her divorce first went through 5 years ago otherwise that was all over,” said Clatone.

Linda said Carey had a lot of weapons and threatened to use them, but that was a long time ago.
 
“We thought he got over it, he did not,” said Clatone. “I don't know where his head was because I hadn't seen him in 5 years.”
 
Linda says she hasn't even begun to grieve for her friends.

“I’m just trying to get better and keep my spirits up,” she said.

Shot seven times, doctors say those spirits along with a whole lot of luck, is why Linda is still alive.

“She has a couple bullets situated by her spine that didn't hit the cord and a bullet that had it gone deeper would have hit her brain,” said Dr. Kumash Patel. “Miraculously they all just missed everything.”

The bullets missed esophagus and carotid artery just by a hair.

Linda, still recovering at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, likes to credit her doctors with her speedy recovery.

“This hospital is a miracle and so are the surgeons who took care of me,” said Clatone. “I feel very amazed to be here and amazed there are doctors this good.”