Palm City, Fla. – A Palm City woman is currently hospitalized after being shot by her fiancé on Thursday night, as reported by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. The victim has been identified as Lisa Dougherty, 65, by her family. Gina Vitella, Lisa Dougherty’s younger sister, expressed her disappointment, stating, “I was looking forward to the holidays to meet him finally, and see my sister and my niece.”
Gina Vitella mentioned that their father, who is visiting from Georgia for the holidays, had plans for the family to visit Lisa. However, Lisa wasn’t responding to their messages. Vitella discovered that her sister was in the hospital through a mutual friend. Lisa’s phone had been smashed and broken by her fiancé, preventing her from receiving any messages.
Vitella visited her sister in the hospital on Friday evening and shared the details of the incident. She revealed, “He threw her to the ground is what she said, and she was running. The daughter ran first and then she was running, and that’s when he came in with the gun or something, got her and then she ran.” The suspected gunman, Shaun Dougherty, 60, is now facing two counts of attempted murder.
Vitella expressed her hope for justice, stating, “I’m hoping that the courts will take care of it, and we’ll see what happens.” She shared that her sister sustained injuries to her hip, shoulder, and neck. Lisa’s niece, who is in her late 30s, was also shot but was released from the hospital on Thursday night.
When asked about Lisa’s well-being, Vitella mentioned that she is nervous and scared but feels better knowing that Shaun Dougherty is in jail. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Shaun Dougherty, a military veteran, was highly intoxicated at the time of the shooting. This incident highlights the issue of mental health, which Vitella mentioned had previously led her sister to call the police on him.
Regarding Shaun’s mental health treatment, Vitella stated that she was unaware of any help or treatment he may have received. However, she shared that her sister has been speaking with a domestic violence counselor and social worker. Vitella emphasized the importance of prioritizing mental health and called for more attention to be given to mental illness in the state.
When asked about preventing similar incidents, Vitella’s message was clear: “To get help, get help definitely. I hope she can find somewhere safe to live.” In addition to the trauma caused by the shooting, Lisa has been battling neck cancer for the past six months, and the cancer has recently spread. As a result, she may need to undergo rehabilitation for possible nerve damage in her arm.
As Christmas approaches, Lisa Dougherty is expected to remain in the hospital. The incident has shed light on the urgent need to address mental health issues and prioritize the well-being of individuals facing such challenges.