(HOUSTON) — Just days after surviving a shooting that left her entire family dead, a 15-year-old Texas girl said Saturday at a community memorial that her parents and four siblings are “in a much better place.”
Cassidy Stay, who was released from the hospital Friday, spoke to hundreds of supportive neighbors and friends in her hometown of Spring. Hundreds of balloons were released into the sky during the ceremony for her six family members.
“I know that my mom, Dad, Bryant, Emily, Beckett and Zach are in a much better place and I’ll be able to see them again one day,” Stay said.
Stay suffered a fractured skull after Ron Haskell allegedly kicked down her family’s door and shot her and her entire family. Haskell is reported to be the ex-husband of Cassidy’s aunt, Melanie Kaye Haskell.
At the service, the teen read a prepared statement about her ordeal and even quoted a favorite book from the Harry Potter series.
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the lights,” Stay said, quoting the book The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Stay thanked supporters for their prayers and said she was grateful for the doctors, nurses and other first responders who cared for her.
“I’m feeling a lot better and am on a very straight-forward path to a full recovery,” she said.
According to a statement from the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, the teen is expected to make a full recovery.
“As a hospital team, we were honored to be able to help care for this brave young woman at her critical time of need,” read the statement. “The entire staff at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has been profoundly touched by Cassidy’s resilient spirit, inner strength, and hopeful heart during this time of indescribable shock and grief.”
After Stay left the hospital, she greeted the local community by waving from a car sun roof.
She is being hailed a hero after she was able to call police, despite having been shot, and warn them that Haskell was on his way to shoot her grandparents, who are also Haskell’s former in-laws.
“We are in awe of her bravery and courage in calling 911, an act that is likely to have saved all of our lives. She is our hero,” Cassidy’s maternal grandfather Roger Lyon said in a statement. Police said they believe that Lyon and his wife were Haskell’s next targets.
Haskell has been charged with capital murder in the case. He was arrested after three hour standoff with police.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Kelly Bazzle, CNN
Aaron Smith, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN