YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ellen Zban is on her way to recovery after being shot in the face outside of her Youngstown home on Feb. 6.
Zban said she pulled into her Powersdale Avenue driveway that night and was preparing to get out of her car when someone tapped on her window.
Thinking it was a neighbor, she rolled her window down. That’s when the suspect pointed a gun at Zban and demanded her wallet.
As she reached for her wallet, the suspect shot her once under the eye and twice in the arm.
“I didn’t hear any shots, but obviously, I could feel my mouth filling with blood,” Zban said. “And my arm was just…swaying.”
Maria Lallo-Wagner met Zban through the Mahoning Valley Vegan Society. She said she can’t believe this happened.
“It was a surprise and a shock,” said Lallo-Wagner, a yoga teacher/sound healer. “And as soon as we heard, the community immediately started to come together.”
In Zban’s honor, the Mahoning Valley Vegan Society organized a sonic yoga class and potluck Sunday at The Soap Gallery. She had mentioned to the group that she was interested in trying sonic yoga just a few months ago.
“We knew that we had to do it for her — in honor of her — to give back,” Lallo-Wagner said. “You know, whatever we could raise is going to Ellen and is going to fund her recovery.”
Terri Ciccone is a member of the society and a friend of Zban’s. She said she is heartened by the love Zban is receiving from the community.
“It makes me feel so proud to be a part of the community that’s able to do this,” Ciccone said. “That’s able to come together to help someone who needs our help.”
Zban said all of the support and prayers mean the world to her.
“I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by everything,” she said. “It’s just amazing. And again, I can feel it. I can feel it and it makes a difference.”
Despite all that happened, Zban said she harbors no anger or bitterness towards the suspect. She said the community’s compassion has inspired her to forgive and move on.
“Frankly, I think it would be a disservice to what people are doing for me to then turn around and be angry and bitter,” Zban said.
Police are still searching for the person who shot Zban.
Her friends and family have put up $2,250 reward for the arrest and capture of the person responsible.
“I can’t identify him,” Zban said. “But we’re hoping that the people in the community will help.”
If you have any information about the suspect or attack, please call Youngstown Police Det. Sgt. Lambert at 330-742-8911.
Tune into WKBN First News at 10 and 11 for reporter Cameron O’Brien’s entire report from the fundraiser.