Relative: Michigan School Shooting Victim Had Transferred Schools To Escape Ex-Boyfriend

Friday, March 9th 2007, 7:33 pm

By: News On 6

LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ A 17-year-old who survived being shot four times by an ex-boyfriend who then killed himself had transferred to the school where she was wounded to get away from him, a relative said Friday.

Jessica Forsyth was in fair condition at a Flint hospital, two days after police say 17-year-old David Turner shot her with a .44-caliber Magnum revolver outside H.H. Dow High School.

Forsyth had transferred there Monday from an alternative school to get away from Turner, her great-aunt said.

``He wouldn't leave her alone,'' said Nancy Cook, a nurse. ``She's just a very innocent girl and got tied up with the wrong people.''

Turner's mother says her son suffered from bipolar disorder and had stopped taking his medications. At the time of the shooting, he was on probation for stealing weapons.

Family members of both teens said Turner went to Dow High 100 miles northwest of Detroit to try to talk to Forsyth, but he was turned away by school officials. The boy then called her and asked her to meet him outside the building. She met him because Turner had promised to return a watch belonging to the girl's late father, who died in a motorcycle accident in California. The watch was one of the few possessions Forsyth got when his estate was divided, Cook said.

Turner pulled the gun from a backpack instead of the watch, Cook said.

The bullets struck Forsyth in her right arm, chest, shoulder and back _ shattering bones in her arm. Cook said one bullet lodged in a metal plate that had been used to fuse Forsyth's broken collarbone when she was younger.

``That stopped a bullet that was potentially the most lethal shot,'' Cook said.

Forsyth was conscious and ``perking up,'' Cook said. ``We didn't tell her at first that Dave had killed himself. She got tearful. She's sad that he's dead but also glad that he can't hurt her again.''

Turner's family released a statement Friday apologizing for the shooting. The family said Turner must have found a hidden key in his house and opened a safe containing firearms.

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