June Huling, in her family's home in Hopkins, Missouri, with flowers in the yard on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Huling and her husband are struggling to cope after their son was shot and killed last week by her adult son's ex-wife. The ex-wife is currently in custody after allegedly threatening to kill Huling and her family. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Fear-stricken and isolated, July Huling has had to live in a box in her home after the February shooting that claimed the life of her son and seriously wounded another man. She was inside the house, alone, when her son's ex-wife, Chelsea Garvin, allegedly opened fire, firing three shots into her son Timothy Huling, 28, and the other man, Josh Crutcher, before she retreated to a neighbor's house.
Huling and Crutcher remained in critical condition for two months. On Tuesday, Dr. Kevin Burke, a neurosurgeon at St. Louis University Hospital, told KSDK that, following extensive surgery, Crutcher will fully recover. The bullet, which entered in the back of Crutcher's head, was removed by surgeons as a means of preserving his brain tissue. Burke revealed that it will require major surgery upon Crutcher's recovery, but that he'll be able to resume life as normal.
Timothy Huling, 28, was reportedly shot three times in the incident, and died as a result. His brother found his body and called 911.
The police, for their part, were sent to the house after disturbing text messages and calls from the mother of the daughter in the house. After law enforcement arrived, Huling's husband, Phillip, saw Chelsea Garvin leave the house. As she drove away, Phillip Huling says he saw her put something back in the car. Then she pulled into the neighbor's driveway.
Garvin was caught after an anonymous tip led police to the neighborhood, where she was found inside a home and arrested.
"It's like a nightmare, or if you go to sleep. Like, can't wake up," said Huling to KSDK.
"I think it's just that we're just always — we're just constantly thinking, what's next?" Huling's husband, Phillip, told KSDK.
Garvin has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault, as well as armed criminal action. She will be tried in civil court, rather than criminal court, in accordance with Missouri state law.
Huling told authorities that she and her husband have had a volatile relationship with Garvin for the past several years, and that she even tried to have him committed at one point, reports the New York Daily News. Because she did not have any criminal convictions in Missouri, the Hulings have been allowed to keep the recently built home, which is now surrounded by heavy steel chain-link fences.
But despite all the worries that seem to surround her, Huling told her daughter that she plans to rebuild the lives she lost through the shooting.
"I love my family, and that's where my future lies," she said.