TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -Debbie Baigrie will never forget what happened to her in a downtown Tampa parking lot in July of 1990.
“Behind me someone said ‘I’m serious, give it up.’ And I turned around because I didn’t know what that meant and then boom, shot me,” said Baigrie.
“It pretty much whipped out the right side of my face, my gums and a bunch of teeth,” said Baigrie.
The man who shot her, Ian Manuel was just 13 at the time. He was sentenced to life behind bars until 2011 when he was resentenced to 65 years.
Baigrie appeared at his resentencing.
“He reached out to me about a year after at Christmas and he wanted to apologize for what he had done. I learned about the lack of supervision, the lack of guidance because he was in a gang because that was his family,” said Baigrie.
Baigrie tells News Channel 8 she has now forgiven Manuel. The two communicate.
“It’s mostly letters when he writes an essay or something happens in his life, he shares it with me. He sent me his GED scores. It’s just somebody who has reached out to him to show him, yes I’m behind you.”
“I think anybody has the capacity to forgive and I will tell you that forgiving is very healing,” said Baigrie.
Baigrie said she will continue to encourage Manuel and make sure that she knows that she is there.
Calls by News Channel 8 to Manuel’s attorneys were not returned Monday.