FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – An 18-year-old woman who had recently moved to Fort Worth from Illinois, was left for dead at an East Fort Worth home.
She was brutally attacked at the house she was staying at with her boyfriend.
“They shot her three times in the head. Once in the face, once in the back of the head, and another time on the side of the head,” explains Victor Raga, the victim’s father.
But Evelyn Bunte survived.
She’s currently recovering at a rehabilitation hospital in North Texas.
When he got a call no father ever should, Victor Raga took the first flight out from Chicago to North Texas. He describes falling to his knees when he saw his daughter waiting to go into surgery, at JPS Hospital.
“She said ‘Dad, don’t cry, I’m still here.’ She said, ‘please don’t cry,’ ” he recalls.
The fact that less than 2 weeks later, his child is laughing, talking and regaining motor skills is nothing short of a miracle for Raga.
“What I’m seeing unfolding in front of my eyes is so incredible, I want to share it. I want [people] to know about her. Even through a vicious attack, she could be an inspiration to people,” Raga explains.
From her hospital bed, Evelyn shows great signs of improvement. Her father proudly asks her to move her right hand for the camera. She does so with a smile. The attack that took her sight, and partially paralyzed her, has not robbed her of optimism.
“You might as well stay positive. There’s no sense in feeling bad for yourself,” the young woman says.
Raga says his daughter had recently moved to North Texas, from their native Illinois, despite his wishes.
“She bought her plane ticket, she came to me, and said, ‘Dad, I’m going.’ ”
The recent high school graduate had plans to enroll at TCC next semester and was working at a local Walmart to save up for a car.
“She met some people down here and got involved with probably a bad crowd, unbeknownst to me,” Raga explains.
On November 5th, he says a person or people made their way into the East Fort Worth home where Evelyn was staying. She was napping before a graveyard shift.
“[Detectives] found glass in her scalp. She fought back and that’s when it escalated,” Raga says.
“She just wouldn’t die. She fought.”
Fort Worth Police do not believe the attack was random. They have not identified a motive nor have they made any arrests. They say they are not ruling anyone out, as they wait to speak with the victim again.
The most crucial witness to the attack, Evelyn herself, does not appear to remember what happened. Her dad says her memory of that night is foggy.
“It was explained to me by a neurologist that that’s the body’s defense mechanism,” he says.
Despite the long road ahead, Evelyn is quickly making improvements doctors did not expect would happen for months.
“She has angels by her side,” Raga says.
A family that has found refuge in prayer, is now praying for justice.
“I just pray every day that the police will get some guidance and put this person or persons where they belong, and that’s in jail.”