EXCLUSIVE: Woman shot by her nephew speaks out in tears from hospital bed


BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Leigh Thomas was shot eight times by her nephew Preston Northan, but the physical pain she’s enduring doesn’t compare to her emotional pain.

She spoke to sister station WKRG just before going into surgery. 

“I never imagined because he and I were really close,” she told News 5 with tears in her eyes from her hospital bed. “He’s like a son to me and I loved him so much.”

She’s being treated at Sacred Heart in Pensacola.

Eighteen-year-old Northan was arrested Monday. Thomas says she and her husband — who live on Newport Road near Robertsdale — took him in about a year-and-a-half ago to keep him out of the foster care system.

Thomas said she was in bed with her 3-year-old son Asher when Northan busted through the bedroom door and fired the gun. 

“And he loved my son Asher like his own little brother,” she said — again,  with tears in her eyes. 

Northan had a bond hearing Wednesday afternoon. A judge set that bond at $31,000.

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