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Target store stabbing victim to leave hospital

Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Allison Meadows, 16, of Chattanooga, Tenn., has been undergoing treatment at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after being stabbed twice at the Target in East Liberty on Monday, March 25, 2013, leading to a collapsed lung.

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By Margaret Harding
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 11:57 p.m.

Allison Meadows traveled to Pittsburgh to spend spring break with her young nephew but now is healing in a hospital from two stab wounds inflicted in a bizarre attack in the Target in East Liberty.

“It was all crazy and traumatic,” Meadows, 16, of Chattanooga, Tenn., said on Wednesday from Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville. “It's definitely taken a toll on me, but I'm doing well.”

Pittsburgh police charged her alleged attacker Leon Raymond Walls, 41, who is homeless, with attempted homicide, resisting arrest, aggravated assault and other crimes. He remains in the Allegheny County Jail.

Meadows, a sophomore at Silverdale Baptist Academy in Chattanooga, recalled a man running around the store, yelling on Monday evening. She thought he had gone by the time she was flipping through magazines in the checkout line with her mom and her nephew's mother.

“All of a sudden I felt something come behind me and grab me,” Meadows said. “From then, I don't remember anything else until I got up. I was in complete shock.”

Bystanders have said they'll never forget her screams. Several men, including some who had tracked Walls from a previous stabbing on nearby Highland Avenue, charged Walls when he grabbed Meadows. Walls stabbed one man in the hand and another in the face. A third broke two fingers while fighting him, police said.

Walls' knife tore muscle from Meadows' arm and collapsed a lung.

“I didn't know that I had been injured until I got back to the break room,” Meadows said. “I looked down at my arm, and I realize he stabbed me in the arm because I saw all the blood. I started to not be able to breathe.”

Meadows should be able to leave the hospital on Thursday morning and will make a full recovery, said her father, Glen Meadows.

“It's been a miracle,” he said. “Her recovery, along with the miracle of her saving. But she's still got a way to go before participating in the Pittsburgh city marathon.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or

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