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Shooting victim reunites with saving officer on 37th birthday

‘I wouldn't have this day without her,’ victim says
Vernice Patterson Officer Casey Stripling.png
Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 13, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On Vernice Patterson's 37th birthday she had a reunion filled with thanks and praise.

It's the first time in five months that Patterson and Officer Casey Stripling are seeing each other. They met during a life and death situation for Patterson on the 4th of July.

Patterson and her daughter had just left a cookout. They were driving down 37th Street in West Palm Beach when they heard a loud boom. Right after that, Patterson knew she had been shot.

"At that time, I knew I was hit but I didn't know where," she said, "and when I looked down, the dress I had on was blue and white and it just turned red."

Patterson's daughter called 911 for help. Shortly after Stripling arrived to render aid.

"She had multiple gunshot wounds to the legs and I rendered aid as far as I could and kind of stayed with her," Stripling said. "I waited until the ambulance got there."

Patterson had been shot once in both legs and once in her pelvis area.

She's recovered, she's happy, and thankful for Stripling.

"Yes, because I wouldn't have this day without her," she said.

Stripling said the feelings are mutual.

"It feels good to know that I impacted her life," she said.

One of the bullets that hit Patterson was actually found in her wallet inside her purse.