MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – From her hospital room, 25-year-old Josephine Otim says she cannot understand why a man randomly fired a gun at the car she was riding in.
“I saw this man coming from the corner, so I was thinking maybe he was trying to cross the street,” said Otim. “So I told my roommate to slow down and to let him pass by.”
Josephine and her roommate were just a couple of blocks from home when Thomas Landry was about to cross the street.
Instead, he approached their car.
“He stared right at us and pointed the gun,” said Otim. “I said ‘oh shoot he has a gun on him…press on that gas.'”
But it was too late. He had allegedly fired a bullet through the driver’s side open window. Josephine, in the passenger seat, was shot once in the leg. Her roommate who was driving was not hit. The bullet ended up lodged in the car door.
“I just thought he was crossing the street,” said the roommate who asked that her name not be used. “It wasn’t like I knew he was going to come and attack us, if that was the case I would have kept going and wouldn’t let him by.”
Landry’s family tells WBZ-TV he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving two tours in Afghanistan.
In an email they wrote in part, “To the victims we would like to express our sincere apologies and wish you a speedy recovery. Our prayers are with you and your families as you try to cope with what has happened.
We are still trying to figure out what exactly happened ourselves and are dealing with this tragedy as best we can. I will only say that this is all a shock to us, as it is just NOT in his nature. Tom has struggled with severe PTSD and Anxiety since returning from war and has been under medical treatment and supervision. However, this is a long process and a daily struggle for post war Veterans who are affected by PTSD and related issues and is a condition that has little research and study to this point and we have yet to find an appropriate medication or treatment for this condition that can work effectively. I pray that more advancements will be made and we can win the war in these young minds and end their suffering and struggles in acclimating back into society as functional productive citizens.”
Landry is facing several charges including assault, but Otim says that charge should be upgraded.
“That’s not an assault, that’s attempted murder,” said Otim.
According to court documents obtained by WBZ-TV, Landry told police had been at a nearby “dive bar” and consumed a shot of Jagermeister, a rum and coke, and a long island iced tea. But there is no explanation given for why he allegedly approached the car and fired. Landry told police after leaving the bar he had been “jumped” by a group of men who had stolen his gun. Detectives also write Landry changed his story multiple times, and accused police of “trying to trick him.”
Manchester Police say Landry did have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Otim, who is a single mother of a 7-year-old boy, says she hopes Landry is held accountable.
“Yeah he went in a war and fought…but if he would have took me out of my son’s hands, how is he a hero?”