Teen gets robotic arm four years after being shot in Utah

March 16, 2021 GMT

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Four years after two classmates shot her in the head and left her for dead in a canal in Utah, Deserae Turner received a robotic arm to help in her recovery, the family said.

Turner, 18, expressed excitement over gaining more independence since 2017 when two classmates lured her into a canal and shot her, blinding her left eye and paralyzing her left arm, KSL-TV reported.

Turner has undergone more than a dozen procedures since the shooting, including 10 brain surgeries, and is continuing physical therapy.


“I’m like, ‘I’m an adult, guys,’ ” she said. “Look at me! I’m doing so good!’”

Turner received the robotic device just as she started a new job as a hostess at a Logan restaurant.

Her arm has had very little movement. But Turner said that will now change as she learns how to use what she calls her “expensive new toy.”

“God gave me this personality of don’t quit, never give up. And I can really thank Him for giving me what I needed to accomplish these challenges,” she said. She also thanked everyone who donated to help her family afford the device. “I wish I could give everybody a big hug.”

Turner also said she filed her papers to become a service missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She said she wants to serve in Cache Valley, which includes Logan.

Colter D. Peterson and Jayzon Decker were sentenced to at least 15 years in prison in 2018 for the shooting in Smithfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City. The pair concocted a plan while playing video games and discussing their desire to “get rid” of Turner, who was messaging Peterson on social media, prosecutors said. They lured her to a dry canal bed behind a high school in a town neighboring where she goes to school.