Share This Page

Target store stabbing victim to leave hospital

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 11:57 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Allison Meadows of Chattanooga, Tenn., was stabbed while in the Target store in East Liberty on Monday, March 25, 2013. She suffered a collapsed lung, permanent nerve damage to her arm and has post-traumatic stress disorder, her attorney said.

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 mharding@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.