Someone shot Mya Aaten-White in the head during the height of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal police shooting in August 2014 of Michael Brown.
KWMU, a St. Louis public radio station, described the shooting as an “ambush.” Just before midnight on Aug. 12, Aaten-White was walking to her car after organizing a group of student protesters. Suddenly, gunshots rang out, one of them lodged in Aaten-White’s forehead—nearly killing her.
“I think it had to be the fourth or fifth bullet that actually hit me,” Aaten-White, 27, told the radio station. “I felt like my brain, my whole head had been cracked open.”
A witness carried her to a nearby house. The St. Louis County Police wrote an incident report. Later, the Ferguson Police Department took over the case but did practically no investigation, she told the news outlet.
“That lack of follow-up, it really disturbed me. It just seemed like they brushed it under the rug,” said Aaten-White, who at that time had recently returned home after graduating from Howard University.
More than two years later, the Ferguson Police Department is still investigating the case. So far, the department has failed to make an arrest.
During the uprising, the police had its hands full. The detective assigned to Aaten-White’s case left the department, KWMU learned. Police officials told the news outlet that another detective is in charge but refused to make that person available or share any information about the case.
Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told KWMU that there’s little chance—at this point—that the police will solve the case.
“If the suspect isn’t apprehended within, quite literally hours of the event, certainly a day or so, then after that it becomes increasingly unlikely that an arrest will be made,” Rosenfeld stated.
Making matters worse, Missouri’s statute of limitation for attempted murder is just three years.
“I’m not guaranteed safety on any given day,” Aaten-White told KWMU. “I don’t know who shot me, so they could try again.”