Shooting victim’s family says long journey ahead

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Sandra Bousquet had spent the last five years working to turn her life around and rebuild family relationships.

Now the 36-year-old Clovis woman lies paralyzed in a Lubbock hospital bed, shot in the neck Feb. 3.

Police said her neighbor, 61-year-old James Fitzpatrick, shot her during a dispute over money.

Sandra’s older brother, Rick Bousquet, said when family learned of the shooting they came in from several states to be by her side and have alternated in the month since, trying to see that she has support with her as often as possible.

“Our motto was, ‘The past is behind us,’” he said. “We’ve got a new journey; we’re moving forward with what we have to deal with.”

Bousquet said his younger sister came from a broken home, lived in a youth facility for a while in her teens and eventually made poor choices in her life, falling to drug use.

After her addictions resulted in jail time, Rick Bousquet said his sister decided to turn her life around.

About five years ago she began reconnecting with family, he said, and trying to repair the relationships her lifestyle had strained.

“She’s admitted she made some bad decisions,” he said. “The last several years she had been really trying to get her life back together. That’s the really tragic thing … she was trying.”

The bullet that struck a disc in Sandra Bousquet’s neck has changed everything, he said, explaining she is now a paraplegic who might require 24-hour medical care in the future and a ventilator for the rest of her life.

“It’s going to be a tough road,” he said.

In the days following the shooting, Rick Bousquet said his sister communicated to her family she was glad to know Fitzpatrick was in jail.

Fitzpatrick, held at the jail on a $35,000 cash only bond, is scheduled for arraignment in district court Tuesday, court records show.

A call to Fitzpatrick’s attorney, public defender Chandler Blair, was not returned Monday.