Exclusive: Workplace shooting victim has survivor’s guilt

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 5:46 PM

PHOENIX -- Nichole Hampton was the third person shot in the deadly workplace shooting in Phoenix last month.

The following day, she held a press conference at John C. Lincoln Hospital, but didn’t show her face because she had been through a lot.

On Thursday, Hampton wasn’t afraid to speak on-camera with 3TV for an exclusive interview about that day.

"I thought I need to get in a safe place because I need to be there for my kids," said the 32-year-old mother of two.

During the shooting scary thoughts ran through her mind.

"I thought that's it. I run too slow. I’m gonna’ get shot in the back. It's done," she said.

Instead, Hampton took a bullet through her left hand. She was raced to the hospital and had surgery.

She’s still wearing a hand brace.

When the shooting happened, Hampton was outside taking pictures of the building with her iPhone.

Hampton took a few pictures and then several men ran out of the building.

"I heard one of them say 'He's got a gun.' Then that's when I heard the gun shots and turn and ran around," she said.

A few hours later she learned two men were shot and killed during a mediation hearing.

Even though Hampton wasn't targeted, she still feels survivor’s guilt.

"It does feel like the whole thing is unfair anyway. That does make me feel a bit guilty and feel sad for the families," she said.

The shooter, Arthur Harmon, killed himself the following day.

"It was just relief that he was found, that no one else was going to be injured," said Hampton.

Hampton has since gone back to work.

Her hand should heal with time, but she fears the emotional trauma could stick around a lot longer.

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