'I thought I was going to die'; Woman shot 10 times by ex-boyfriend speaks out
By Maggie Vespa. CREATED Apr 24, 2014
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - "I never thought he would hurt me."
They are words, experts say, too many women utter every day.
Heather Yager is one of them.
You'll remember her story, one of a victim shot ten times by an ex-boyfriend who couldn't let her go.
Last week, a jury convicted that boyfriend of trying to kill Heather nearly two years ago.
Thursday she is spoke out for the very first time, only to 9OYS.
The 33 year-old Tucson woman remembers every detail.
"I thought I was going to die," she said.
They're details of the day an ex-boyfriend's deadly obsession passed its breaking point.
"I never ever thought he would do something like that," she told 9OYS.
Yager and Arturo Quiles met as coworkers at an eastside Safeway, near Golf Links & Wilmot.
They dated for nearly a year before the relationship fizzled out, or so she thought.
"If he even saw me talking to a guy, like I wouldn't even be having to date him, just talking to a guy, he would send me a text, a stupid text. I don't even remember what it would say," she said.
"But jealous," said 9OYS reporter Maggie Vespa.
"Oh, definitely jealous," she said.
Heather says the texts and calls became more frequent.
When she didn't answer, he would find her.
"He just kept saying you need to fix this," she said.
Finally, Quiles had had enough.
It was an otherwise normal morning in June, 2012.
Heather was running late to work, when she came out of her apartment at Lakeside Casitas near Golf Links and Pantano and found him waiting.
"He lifted his gun and started shooting me," she said.
"He didn't say anything?" asked Vespa.
"He didn't say anything."
Police said Yager took ten bullets to her left side.
Several surgeries later her elbow remains shattered.
Her leg needs constant support.
Because a bullet struck her ovary, doctors say her hopes of having children are gone.
"I just get angry at the situation and just wish that I had normal function," said Yager.
Today Heather is regaining that normal life.
Last month she started driving.
"The first place I drove by myself was to the doctor," she said, smiling.
With one good hand, she does her own hair.
She gets through each day with the help of her now-boyfriend.
"She's taught me you can beat adversity by staying true to yourself, not letting the evil get in," said Mitch Metz.
That can be a struggle, but now Heather wants the man who left her to die, to know he didn't win.
"He's going away for a hopefully long, long time and I still get to live my life," she said. "Not the same but I still get to live my life."
Arturo Quiles is set to be sentenced for his crime in July.
Heather wants people to know, if you feel threatened, there is help out there.
You can begin by contacting Tucson Police, the Pima County Sheriff's Department or your local law enforcement.
To begin the process of filing an order of protection, click here.
Here in Tucson, you can contact the Emerge Center. To visit their website, click here.
You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website, by clicking here.