Milwaukee 22nd and Center shooting survivor, 88, 'played dead'

A shooting and house fire sent Milwaukee police and firefighters to the area near 22nd and Center Wednesday night, Aug. 24. Four people were shot, and one of them died. Shortly after the shooting, a home associated with the suspected shooter burned. 

Carrie Barnhill, 88, was in town from Colorado Springs to visit her sister, Shirley Mallory, 82, who was shot and killed. Shirley's husband, Ivory Mallory, 85, was hurt, along with Barnhill and a friend, 65.

Speaking with FOX6 News from her hospital bed on Sunday, Barnhill said she believes her military training led to her survival.

Carrie Barnhill

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In a life-threatening situation, it's hard to know how you'll react.

"I was waiting for the next shots," said Barnhill. "I was waiting for the next shots."

Barnhill didn't think twice.

"When I heard the first shots, I fell flat on the floor and played dead," said Barnhill. 

On Wednesday night, there was talking and laughter heard in surveillance video from a nearby home. As the night went on, the surveillance shows a porch light turned on and 12 gunshots rang out, fired at the house to the south of the camera. 

Barnhill's quick reaction may have saved her life. She said it stemmed from her 22 years in the Air Force and her training in the 1950s and 60s.

"I had no idea that was still instilled in me," said Barnhill. "I’m thankful. I’m thankful, I’m thankful, I’m thankful."

Barnhill said they were enjoying the evening, sitting outside when it happened. 

Shirley Mallory

"The next thing we knew, it was a barrage of bullets," said Barnhill. "He came around shooting, and that’s when he shot me in the foot…in my feet."

Police said shortly after the shooting, a home associated with the suspected shooter burned. 

At the hospital with Barnhill as she recovers is her nephew, Greg Mallory, who lost his mom in the shooting. His dad was hurt, along with Barnhill, his aunt, and a friend of the family.

"I’m trying to not let this be just another homicide," said Greg Mallory. 

As police look into what led to the gunfire, this family is seeking comfort. 

Greg Mallory

"Enjoy your life," said Barnhill. "Life is so fleeting. Life is so fleeting."

Barnhill said she is expected to be able to walk again.

Milwaukee police said they know who they are looking for in this case, but no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call the MPD at 414-935-7360; to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS or use the P3 tips app.