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27 NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Mauston shooting victim shares story


MADISON (WKOW) -- The surviving victim of a deadly shooting outside a Mauston bar shares her memories of that night.

In an exclusive interview with 27 News, Ebony Lasher talks about the night that killed her best friend and changed her life forever, when police say Cody Truel, 29, shot the two women.
On May 31, the 23-year-old was out with her friend Gail Howland. Lasher says a man she had never met before, who turned out to be Truel, approached the two at a Mauston bar. Lasher says Truel wouldn't leave her friend alone, and was eventually kicked out. Later, the two went to P.J.'s Bar and Grill where they came upon Truel again. That's when Lasher says he fired a gun at the two women.
"I said, 'Gail, he's here'," Lasher explains, crying. "And I just got those words out and he shot me and all I remember is just like falling down and not feeling anything immediately."
Lasher was instantly paralyzed from the chest down by the first shot, the second she couldn't feel. Lasher says she couldn't see what happened next. Police say Truel killed 29-year-old Howland with three gunshots. Truel is being held in Juneau County on a $2 million cash bond.
While authorities have said Truel targeted the two women, Juneau County's district attorney says there's no evidence Howland and Truel had a prior relationship. But Lasher says since the shooting she's learned Howland and Truel had an intimate relationship that ended that night, triggering the attack that's forever changed Lasher.
Lasher tells 27 News the bullet severed her spinal cord and she'll never walk again. Although, she's making progress every day, slowly regaining strength in her upper body and learning how to adapt to her new life.
"I'm a fighter and I just want to get through this therapy and get through this rehab and just you know go home," says Lasher.
She says it's a struggle every day to overcome the mental trauma of her injuries and losing her best friend but she says she has the support she needs to get through it. Her mother, Pam Kissner, has been at the hospital every day, giving up her job as a CNA to help. 
When Lasher is released from the hospital on July 17, her mom plans to be her caregiver but the two are worried how they'll make ends meet. The injuries will rack up a huge medical bill and neither will be able to go back to work. They're asking for any help from the community. Kissner has set up a fundraiser online to help them pay for a place to live once Lasher is released. 
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