LI native shot in Tucson leaves hospital

Susan Annis Hileman in 2009 / Hileman's 1969 Susan Annis Hileman in 2009 / Hileman's 1969 Oceanside High School yearbook photo Photo Credit: Facebook.com / Handout

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Suzi Hileman, the Oceanside native wounded in the Tucson shooting rampage that killed her 9-year-old neighbor, has been released from the hospital and will recuperate at home, her brother said Wednesday.

"Her first job is to get well physically, and that's what she's going to be focused on," said Jeff Annis, who said he spoke with his sister Tuesday night after she was discharged from University Medical Center in Tucson.

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Hileman, 58, is a 1969 graduate of Oceanside High School who now lives in Arizona. She and her neighbor, Christina Green, 9, were about to greet Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on Jan. 8 when police say Jared Loughner, 22, began shooting.

Six people, including Christina, were killed. Hileman, shot three times, was among 13 wounded, including Giffords. The bullets missed Hileman's vital organs but shattered bones and caused massive blood loss, Annis said. She underwent a five-hour surgery last week to reconstruct a hip and remove bullet fragments from her abdomen.

"She's trying to figure out what to do, how to make some good come out of this, and she doesn't know how," Annis said.

He said Hileman recounted to him some of what she witnessed: a young person throwing a folding chair at Loughner; an older woman trying to tackle him; Christina on the ground next to her.

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Hileman, who blogs at ashleighburroughs.blogspot.com, has begun writing again. In a post last Sunday, she writes: "I know that it is possible to watch the light go out of another person's eyes. I do not know if it is possible to live with that knowledge."

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