INDIANAPOLIS — The injuries from a violent shooting are still fresh in the mind of Lance Stevens. He is working from home as he recovers from a violent shooting outside his home by a neighbor's relative he had never met. Despite trying to calm the suspect, he still faced a flurry of bullets, including one that he knows could have taken his life.
"It grazed my head and went out the back of the hat," said Stevens.
Stevens and his wife, Sophia, are working hard to get their family life back to normal. As Lance did yardwork on May 29, home video recorded 20-year-old Keith Allender Jr. opening fire on him. His mother also suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
"He got my mom, multiple wounds, I got hit in the leg and I also got hit in the head and I had a cap on," said Stevens.
Some of his neighbors thought the gunfire was fireworks. One person told Stevens that since July 4 was just about a month away, they didn't give the sound they heard much thought. But it was several of his neighbors who came to their rescue after the shooting suspect fled the neighborhood.
The shooting happened as Stevens' mother dropped off his 3- and 6-year-old sons, who spent the night at their grandmother's. When she arrived, both boys were fast asleep in the vehicle. Fortunately, the 3-year-old slept through the gunfire and the 6-year-old had gone into the house to use the restroom and only heard the shots.
Allender is also accused of shooting IMPD Ofc. Elizabeth Iversen five times after a short pursuit. Iversen survived and paramedics treated Allender for multiple gunshot wounds.
Eventually, Stevens' wife, who was visiting family, came home to find their house riddled with bullet holes in the walls, windows, and even furniture. Despite his injuries, Stevens was able to tell his wife about the violent attack.
"All Lance could tell me is that the guy across the street just shot them," Sophia Stevens said. "There is not a room downstairs that did not have at least two bullets go through it."
The shooting also left the Stevens family with a list of challenges, including financial hurdles. To help the family out, relatives started a GoFundMe account.
"It's going to be a lot of medical expenses all on us to pay," Lance Stevens said. "It's been a real physical strain and mental and emotional."
The Stevens family hopes the GoFundMe can also help ease the pain from mounting medical bills for both Lance and his mother. They are both working full-time as they raise their sons and allow them to express what they experienced the day of the shooting through real-talk family chats.
"We are praying we come out on top, but it doesn't feel that way. We are getting buried every day. Every day we relive May 29 in one way or another," Sophia said.
While dealing with his mounting medical bills, the physical ongoing physical pain from the shooting forces Lance to sometimes use his knee scooter as he heals from the worst day of his life.
Allender is also charged with attempted murder in the shooting injuries he allegedly inflicted on Iversen. In July, a Marion County Superior Court Judge approved a motion to appoint doctors to evaluate if Allender is competent to stand trial.
His trial is currently scheduled for October 25.