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Mom shot in head shares story of survival

<i>KPHO KTVK</i><br/>Vanessa Martinez holds her two young children in Mesa
Vanessa Martinez holds her two young children in Mesa

By Emma Lockhart

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    MESA, Arizona (KPHO) — A Mesa mom is sharing her incredible story of survival. 31-year-old Vanessa Martinez is recovering after police say her ex-boyfriend shot her in the head last month. All three of her kids were there when it happened.

“My son comes to me and says, momma, you are ok, daddy didn’t kill you,” said Martinez.

On September 11, investigators say Antwon Wilford shot Martinez in the head and caused an hours-long standoff at a Mesa apartment complex.

“We are arguing, we go upstairs, he accusing me of things. I said, we are not even together; I don’t want to be with you. Then, [he says] well if I can’t be with you, no one can. Next thing I know, I am shot,” said Martinez.

“I know that I am shot. I feel the burn in my face; I feel the burn in my head. I can hear him telling me, I am sorry, I just grazed you. I am sorry it was an accident,” said Martinez

Martinez was rushed to the hospital where she had brain surgery. More than a month later, she is recovering at home and healing both physically and emotionally. She says doctors told her it’s a miracle she is alive. Now, she has a message to others trapped in abusive relationships.

“You need to get out because it doesn’t get better. The promises, they are broken promises; it will not get better. This doesn’t have to happen to anyone else. I don’t wish this on anybody,” said Martinez.

Wilford is facing charges for aggravated assault, misconduct involving weapons and second-degree burglary. Meanwhile, Martinez will have surgery to reconstruct her skull in March. If you would like to help her during this time, click here.

If you or someone you know is in a situation with domestic violence, there is help. You can call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit

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