(AllHipHop Features) For days after the tragic shooting at New York City’s Irving Plaza on May 25, most of the media attention was focused on Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave taking a bullet in the leg and subsequently being charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
However, another person lost their life that night and two other individuals were wounded. Among the victims of the gunfight that took place inside the Manhattan venue was an innocent bystander named Maggie Carrie Heckstall.
The model was in a backstage green room for the T.I. headlining concert when several shots rang out. Maggie, a guest of NYC emcee Maino, was struck in the leg and is still recovering from her injuries five months later.
Besides her attorneys addressing pending legal action against Irving Plaza, Maggie has mostly remained quiet about the ordeal that caused her femur to be fractured. The Jersey City native is now speaking out about the traumatic experience on an episode of MTV’s Emmy-winning docuseries True Life.
True Life: I’ve Been Shot follows Maggie and Nashville deejay Jamarrius Kelly as the two entertainers tell their respective stories of overcoming gun violence. The program also highlights reports that African-Americans are more than twice as likely to die from gun violence than Caucasians and shooters of black people are less likely to be arrested than someone that shoots a white person.
In this interview with AllHipHop.com, Maggie Carrie talks about appearing on the latest season of True Life. The 26-year-old aspiring singer also gives more details about the lasting effects of being shot and offers advice to other people that are battling back from a gun attack.
How are you doing?
I’m getting better. I’m about 80%.
You had to go through a lot of therapy for your injury. Physically, where are you at this point?
At this point, I stopped going to therapy. I started going to the gym for a weak quad and a weak gluteus medius. I feel like therapy was kind of slow. They’re too gentle for me, so I started going to the gym myself and using the pool. The weather bothers my leg a lot. I’m still not back in heels. I can’t run. My leg gives out here and there. It buckles once or twice a day.
That’s a serious injury. How has it impacted your career?
For recording, it takes a lot of hours in the booth. I can’t stand for those hours. I was bartending, but I can’t wear heels. I was doing Wild ‘N Out. They had parties that I couldn’t go to because I’m not back in heels. I can’t do much of what I was doing before the incident.
Because it has affected your life so much, is it hard to think about that day?
It’s very hard to think about that day, but it’s reality. Thinking about that day is not the real hard part. It’s being able to go to another concert or go to my old neighborhood and not feeling safe or feeling vulnerable.
Why did you decide to tell your story on True Life?
True Life contacted me while I was still in the hospital. Maybe two or three days after I got shot. I was totally against doing it. This is too much. It’s a personal matter. After being in bed for three weeks, I was just like, “You know what? I’m going to do it.” A whole bunch of news organizations were hitting me up. I said, “I’m not going to do [interviews]. So I might as well document it.” Even though they didn’t get it from day one, it was something for me to do. It was time. I was getting out of the bed and I started going to therapy. It made me feel a little bit more like myself.
The episode focuses on two people that have been victims of gun violence. Has this experience changed your view on gun control laws?
No, I feel like no matter what, it’s going to be guns in the streets. We can try hard. We can remove a lot. It’s still some that’s going to slip through the cracks. I just feel like if I’m going to a place that has security and metal detectors, they need to do their best at that place. It wasn’t at a cookout. It wasn’t in the street. It was at a place that had metal detectors and security. It should have been enforced. It’s not going to stop, so places that I go should be safe and their security should be enforced.
Are you still pursuing legal action against Irving Plaza?
What about your relationship with the NYPD? You were vocal that you felt they were mistreating you and not really supportive of you as a victim. Has that changed?
I haven’t spoken with the NYPD since I was in the hospital. I never had to go into the precinct. But when I tell you the precinct came to me… they had my floor blocked off. They were just the worst. The last call I had with an officer, he hung up on me and told me that he has been up for two days when I was trying to get my family to the hospital. Then a lady came in and asked if I left the bullet in me on purpose. They treated me so bad that I don’t even want to hear anything they have to say. They can deliver whatever they have to say through my lawyers. I don’t have to speak to them at all.
Do you know if they’re still pursuing the investigation?
I don’t really know. I’m pretty sure they are. I’m pretty sure it’s an ongoing case. I don’t think it would be over that fast. It’s been about four months. I don’t think anyone is in jail. But they aren’t asking me anything.
A video posted by ⚫ Maggie Carrie ⚫ (@maggiecarrie) on
Have you heard from Troy Ave or T.I. since the shooting?
I don’t know Troy Ave. I’ve never met him. T.I. knows a friend of mine. So he contacted a friend of mine when I was in the hospital and apologized. Not on his behalf, because he didn’t have anything to do with it, I don’t think. [The apology] was just for the whole incident and being that it was his show. It was really sweet.
Are you still close with Maino?
Yeah, we’re very close.
Your music is another focus of True Life. What’s the status of your recording process?
I’m currently trying to see if I can last six hours on a plane to record with my old producer. He lives in L.A., so I need to get out there. I’m also trying to find new people to work with out here because I don’t want to fly to L.A. every time I want to record. But it’s kind of hard to find somebody with that same vibe. So for now, I’m writing at home and trying to get ready for that flight.
For a lot of people, this incident is their first introduction to you. How do you think you’ll be able to push past that [characterization] and let people see you as a musical artist?
Getting shot is a tragedy. It’s not like I was the shooter. I’m the victim, so I don’t think being a victim will affect my music in any way. To the outsider looking in, I just hope they get some type of message from me. Not even musically, but just to be safe wherever you are. It doesn’t matter how you look, what you do, where you’re from, how old you are – they’re hitting everybody.
As someone who has experienced it, what would you say to someone else who may be a fan of you or who may just look to you as someone that has gone through this horrible situation? What would you say to someone that has gone through that too?
We got to be strong. It’s a lot of people who are unfortunately not here. So the fact that this tragedy happened to us, we made it and we’re blessed. We’re supposed to be here for a reason to tell our stories. Pay attention. There are many different messages you get from it. But you can’t let it break you.
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True Life: I’ve Been Shot featuring Maggie Carrie airs October 25 at 10 pm ET on MTV.
Watch episodes of the series on MTV.com.
Photo courtesy of MTV