An East St. Louis family has been displaced from their home after a Chevy pickup truck burst through their wall in the middle of the night and parked in their living room.
Portrait Pettigrew, 37, was asleep in her bed next to her fiance when she was awakened by the sound of gunshots at approximately 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the Post-Dispatch reports
. The loud bangs seemed to be drawing closer to her home, which is located on 19th Street in the Dawson Manor Apartment Complex. The couple could even see muzzle flashes outside their window.
"My first reaction was to get the kids out the bed and get them down low and safe," Pettigrew tells KSDK
But then came a thunderous crash, as a white pickup truck bounced off a light pole and smashed through the exterior wall of Pettigrew's apartment and came to a stop in her living room.
"I had a long dining room table it split in half,” Pettigrew tells KSDK. “It was so much smoke and debris everywhere, like I couldn't hardly breathe."
Pettigrew, her fiance and a home health provider quickly hid in the bedrooms with Pettigrew's children, who are nine and four. As they protected the young ones, they dialed 911.
Pettigrew tells the Post-Dispatch
that after police arrived on the scene, they told her it appeared as though the driver had been shot and was likely attempting to flee from the shooter when the crash occurred.
The situation could have been worse. Pettigrew says her fiance had been sleeping in the living room shortly before the crash occurred. "He had just come up stairs to get in the bed, probably maybe not even an hour," Pettigrew says. She says her landlord is now looking for a different apartment for the family.
She has choice words for those firing guns in her neighborhood.
"They need to stop all this shooting — this violence is irrelevant," she tells KSDK. "All this killing, it just don't make no sense. These babies are innocent — they have nothing to do with nothing. We were innocent."
More information, including the condition of the driver and whether any arrests were made, has not been made publicly available. No one answered the phone at the East St. Louis Police Department.
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