Family Surrounds Fort Hood Shooting Victim

(KCEN) -- When news reports of a shooting on Fort Hood flashed across the TV screen, a mother's instinct kicked in.

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"I'm just standing in front of the TV, and something just told me to stay put," says Marlene Warline, the mother of Private Deon Josephs.

She says a chill ran up her back, and she knew Deon had been shot.

"And then I'm thinking, oh no," says Marlene.

Tragically, she was right.

Deon, a friend and comrade of alleged gunman Specialist Ivan Lopez, had been shot through the back.

The bullet wedged in his spine, also hitting a main artery in his neck.

His brother Darren says Deon is in disbelief.

Darren says, "To think, like my own friend did this to me, like why, why did he do this to me?"

Marlene traveled from Nevada to Scott & White hospital in Temple on Saturday, where she had an emotional reunion with her son.

"I said, Deon, you're strong like Mama. I'm telling you, don't leave me. I need you," Marlene says through tears.

Deon is still on a ventilator.

"He forms words by, I say ABC, and then he'll shake his head, like C," says Darren.

Deon is only able to move his fingers and toes after two surgeries, one to repair his artery and the other to remove the bullet.

Darren was by his side as he went into surgery and says, "I was thinking, is this the last words that I'm going to hear from him?"

Deon pulled through, and is defying doctors' worse case scenario, vowing to one day walk again.

Marlene says, "He is a powerful man, and he's a fighter."

Now his family prepares to pay their respects to the fallen at Wednesday's memorial on post.

"Those other ones will survive in my heart and my soul," says Marlene with tears streaming down her face.

The family is struggling to raise enough money to stay in Texas and care for Deon.

They say contributions made here will fund their accommodations and that any extra money raised will go toward Deon's recovery.


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