20 November 2012

Rwandan Student in U.S. Shooting in Stable Condition

Natacha Butera, a Rwandan student in the Iowa, US, who was shot over the weekend, is recovering and being taken good care of, a close family friend told The New Times yesterday.

A foreign exchange student attending Briar Cliff University, Butera was shot in the arm and chest about 1:12 a.m on Sunday, in the first-floor of a building known as Mac Behr's, according to US police.

Soloman Harris, 24, was charged with assault while participating in a felony, wilful injury, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and reckless use of a firearm with serious injury.

"Butera is doing very well, smiling and talking on phone, she is being taken good care of and her mother and Ambassador James Kimonyo have visited her.... she got one bullet on the left side of her chest which did not touch any vital organs and was removed, said a close family friend, who preferred anonymity.

The source said that the second bullet touched her arm superficially, while neither her liver nor lung was touched as it had been earlier reported.

Also, several members of the Rwandan Diaspora and friends of Rwanda are closely monitoring the situation and offering all the support they can to the family.

Harris who shot Butera was arrested and taken to court. He made his initial court appearance Sunday.

His next court appearance is November 28.

Sioux City Police Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick said it appeared Butera and Harris did not know each other.

Harris, who was standing near the dance floor, fired a gun at a man he been in a fight with.

Police wrote in court documents the bullet fired from the .45-caliber pistol instead hit Butera.

She was taken to Mercy Medical Center - Sioux City.

Harris was being held in the Woodbury County Jail Monday morning in lieu of $75,000 bail.

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