A New Hampshire woman fighting for her life after being shot Monday night in Salem, Massachusetts, is "doing miraculously well," her employer said Thursday.
Thirty-three-year-old Lindsay Smith was shot in the head by her ex-boyfriend, 55-year-old Richard Lorman, while leaving her job at Doyle Sailmakers.
Authorities have said that Lorman eventually turned the gun on himself and took his own life in the attempted murder-suicide. New Hampshire's judicial branch is conducting a review of what took place, as well as domestic violence cases in its courts more generally, officials said Thursday.
Smith has been in the intensive care unit at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston since the shooting and all signs so far are positive.
"Lindsay is doing miraculously well and all her vital signs are good," her boss, Robbie Doyle, said in an email to NBC10 Boston Thursday.
He said she had an operation Wednesday after swallowing a bullet she was shot with, leaving it in her stomach. But ultimately doctors decided to leave the bullet there and let it pass on its own.
Doyle said Smith has full movement on her right side and feeling on her left, but her left side has motor skill issues due to the trauma on the right side of her brain. The good news, he said, is there does not appear to be any significant neurological damage.
"In summary, her prognosis is quite good," he said. "The recovery will be lengthy, with no timeline. There are likely to be good and bad days, but so far everything is improving daily."
Smith was expected to undergo another procedure Thursday to address her motor skills and help reduce the swelling, Doyle said.
He said Smith's parents want to thank all of the medical personnel invo lved, starting with the first responders who were at the site within five minutes of the initial 911 call and including the employees at Salem Hospital where she was initially brought and at Beth Israel Hospital where she continues to recover.
Shooting Investigation Update
In the weeks before the shooting, NBC10 Boston has learned that Smith requested protection against Lorman. She was granted a temporary restraining order in September and said he was threatening her.
"I will make you pay," Lorman told Smith, according to court documents. "You can't trust anything to be okay anymore. I am going to turn your world upside down. You'll see. You'll pay. You chose this."
Smith told the court his behavior only escalated from there, and the threats started extending to her family and coworkers. She asked the court to extend the protective order in October, but a judge denied it. The judge said it was not considered abuse under New Hampshire state law.
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said cases like this happen far too often. They are calling for more training for judges and a comprehensive review of all restraining order petitions that have filed in the state.
"The system failed her. These steps will make sure that a victim like this, who is in a potentially lethal situation, is not denied the support they deserve," the coalition's executive director Lyn Schollett said.
New Hampshire's judicial branch opened is reviewing the case at the prompting of New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Gordon J. MacDonald, according to a news release Thursday.
Circuit Court Judge Susan B. Carbon, who once directed the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, is leading the internal review, which is expected to be completed next week and whose findings will eventually be made public.
A task force reviewing domestic violence cases in the state's court system has also been set up under the leadership of New Hampshire Supreme Court Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi, the statement said.
"What happened to Ms. Smith is an absolute tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family," Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement this week. "As soon as this was brought to our attention I immediately contacted the judicial branch and confirmed this matter is being reviewed to the fullest extent possible."
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP: Massachusetts provides this list of national, statewide and local resources for victims of domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Anyone who is in immediate danger or knows someone who is is urged to call 911.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.