CROWN POINT — A 19-year-old woman told a jury Tuesday she was seated in her vehicle with a childhood friend in February 2016 when everything went black.
She next remembered lying bloodied from two gunshot wounds in an alley in the 900 block of Chase Street in Gary. She watched as her vehicle sped off toward Ninth Avenue, and then she crawled to a neighbor's house.
Kendra Skinner told the jury she believed she was shot by her friend, Tyler L. Steffey, who is on trial this week in Lake Criminal Court for attempted murder in the shooting.
Steffey's attorney, Marc Laterzo, said in opening statements the shooting was a tragedy, but his client "absolutely denies" committing the act.
He said Steffey and Skinner were friends since middle school, and often spent time together.
There was no motive for the shooting, and no forensic evidence tying the 20-year-old defendant to the crime scene, according to Laterzo.
"You aren't here to fill in the blanks," he told the jury.
Steffey, 20, is alleged to have twice shot Skinner on Feb. 19, 2016. Skinner was transported to an Illinois hospital, where she was treated for gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen.
Skinner told the jury in often tearful testimony she and Steffey plotted to rob a marijuana dealer, who Steffey said would meet them in the alley in the 900 block of Chase Street.
She said the marijuana dealer never showed up, so they sat and talked about the gun, which she said was in Steffey's possession.
She could not remember the shooting, but she remembered waking up two days later in the Illinois hospital, where she said she wrote down Steffey's name on a white board.
She said she wrote his name, "because I know he did this to me."
Skinner said she suffered hearing loss and loss of smell because of the shooting. She also suffers headaches and short-term memory loss.
Steffey's trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday.