Woman shot while playing Pokemon Go speaks

Posted: Updated:
The woman who was shot in the face while playing Pokemon Go in Peoria spoke on Wednesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The woman who was shot in the face while playing Pokemon Go in Peoria spoke on Wednesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Close up pictures of her wound show the bullet entered the left side of her face around the cheekbone area and came out directly in front of the right ear. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Close up pictures of her wound show the bullet entered the left side of her face around the cheekbone area and came out directly in front of the right ear. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
She asked not to be identified. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She asked not to be identified. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Investigators believe the young men may have been trying to carjack Toni. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Investigators believe the young men may have been trying to carjack Toni. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Peoria woman who shot in the face while sitting in her car playing Pokemon Go wants whoever is responsible caught and brought to justice.

The 63-year-old woman spoke with reporters Wednesday at the Peoria police station with the agreement that her real name or identity would not be released and that she would be referred to only as “Toni.”

The woman appeared to be walking a little unsteadily, and still had massive bruising on her face and neck.

Close up pictures of her wound show the bullet entered the left side of her face around the cheekbone area and came out directly in front of the right ear.

She was shot around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Peoria PD: Woman sitting in her car shot while playing Pokemon Go]

“I couldn’t see. The shot just took all my sight way and I couldn’t see nothing,” said “Toni.”

Seconds before the shot rang out, “Toni” said she pulled into the parking lot of the Peoria City Hall Complex at 84th Avenue and Monroe to play Pokemon Go, a game she admits has become an addiction.

“Toni” said she saw two to three young men approach her car. One asked her for directions.

“That’s when he pulled a gun and stuck it right to my forehead and I didn’t have time to even try to calm him down,” she said.

The second “Toni” saw the gun, she said her instincts kicked in and she pushed her foot on the gas of her car to get away. At the same time, the suspect fire one shot.

“I knew it was the only chance I had. I knew the car had the power and I just thought it’s now or never. I just think it was instinct just kicked in and said this is your shot do it because I would never have made it, never made it,” said “Toni.”

Information disclosed at the news conference indicated “Toni” spent 14 years with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy and detention officer before getting hurt on the job and taking a medical retirement.

While “Toni” admits to still owning a gun, she said she does not drive around with one in her car unless she is going on long trips.

“Even if I would have had that gun, I could have done nothing because he was just so quick and so good. I wouldn’t have been able to do nothing,” said “Toni.” 

Investigators believe the young men may have been trying to carjack “Toni.”

Surveillance video retrieved from City of Peoria buildings indicate as many as five suspects may have been involved.

[READ MORE: Police looking for 5 suspects connected to shooting of woman playing Pokemon Go]

Investigators say they believe the shooter is a Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s, 5’6” to 5’7” with a thin build.

The second suspect they have been able to get a description on is a black male, with an athletic build, about 5’10” to 6’ tall wearing an army green colored jacket.

Detectives say they are working all the leads they have and are reviewing additional video from surveillance cameras in the area at the time of the shooting.

[RAW VIDEO: Surveillance video of woman shot in head in Peoria]

After she was shot, “Toni” pulled to safety and called 911. Nancy Miller was the operator on the other end of that call. Miller has been a communications specialist with the City of Peoria for nine years.

[RAW: 911 call in shooting of woman playing Pokemon Go]

“I was shocked. I really was,” said Miller. “As calm as she sounded? Typically, when someone is in danger or afraid even though you ask them, ‘Where are you?’ They don’t give you that information. They tell you the situation first. So, the fact that she was calmly telling me where she believed she was and then to advise me that she had been shot, was shocking,” Miller added. 

Miller and “Toni,” met for the first time at the Wednesday afternoon news conference and shared a long hug. They also clenched hands as they answered questions.

“I’m so grateful she’s here and amazed that she’s here. What a brave, strong woman. She’s her own hero, she really is,” said Miller

“Toni” said Miller helped keep her calm and told her exactly what to do and when to do it. Miller credits her own training and instincts as well as Miller, for helping save her life.

“When it started getting to the end, I knew I was fading and she was so good. She was so good, and she kept me alert until the ambulance and fire department got there. I was in good hands,” said “Toni,”

Detectives ask anyone with information to call police or call Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). (Click or tap phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.)

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family

Donna RossiEmmy Award-winning reporter Donna Rossi joined CBS 5 News in September 1994.

Click to learn more about Donna.

Donna Rossi

In that time, Donna has covered some of the most high-profile stories in the Valley and across the state. Donna's experience as a four-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department gives her a keen sense of crime and court stories. She offered gavel to gavel coverage of the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, and the trial and conviction of retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien for a fatal hit and run accident. She also spent 2 straight weeks in northeastern Arizona in the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Donna's reputation as a fair and accurate journalist has earned her the respect of her colleagues and community. Her talent as a reporter has earned her more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press Awards and five Emmy statue.

Donna previously worked as an anchor and reporter in Tucson and got her start in broadcast journalism in Flagstaff. Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the NATAS board. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers.

Donna was born in New York and moved to the Valley with her family when she was 9 years old. She is a graduate of Maryvale High School and attended Arizona State University. She graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Donna enjoys boating on Bartlett Lake, all forms of music and theatre. Donna frequently donates her time to speak to community organizations and emcee their events. She is a past board member of DUET, a non-profit which helps promote health and well-being for older adults. Donna also loves donating her time to youth organizations and groups who work to secure and safeguard human rights.

On Oct. 17, 2015, Donna was honored for her amazing work over the years. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences inducted her into its Silver Circle. It's one of the organization's most prestigious honors for which only a few candidates are selected each year.

Hide bio