Twin Cities legal community rallies around law grad after shooting

A soon-to-be Twin Cities attorney is told she may never walk again, after being shot by a complete stranger last month.

Now, the Minnesota legal community is rallying behind 33-year-old Shantel Thompson as she recovers. Her law school mentor starting a GoFundMe that has raised more than $30,000. 

"You don’t know what to ask, you don’t know what to say, but something I thought she was going to need was some finances to get though this," said Minneapolis attorney Adine Momoh.

Momoh met Shantel Thompson in 2013 when she was a first year law student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Momoh was assigned to mentor Thompson and they became fast friends.

When Thompson found out she passed the bar exam on October 4, Momoh was her second phone call.

"We were celebrating over the phone, she was crying a little bit, and then she wanted to talk about next steps," recalls Momoh.

But the celebration didn’t last long, as Thompson was the innocent victim of a random shooting less than 72 hours later in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

According to local reports, Thompson was walking in an Omaha park when a stranger approached and asked if he could join her. When she declined, he shot her in the torso. The bullet lodged in her spine.

"She told us, she had a set back but she’s going to make one hell of a come back," said Sharon H. VanLeer, who hosted Thompson at her home when she was traveling back and forth from Nebraska to Minnesota for school.

VanLeer says Thompson is still in a rehabilitation facility and unable to work, and the funds raised will help her pay bills.

Once she’s recovered, Thompson plans to return to Minnesota to practice law.

"Her goal is not only to practice law, which she will do no doubt about it, but it is to walk again," said Momoh.