Taylor Williams admits she wasn't supposed to be out late at that party.
Still, to the junior sprinter from Northeast, it was nothing more than spending some time with her friends while on Thanksgiving break.
It wasn't until around three in the morning that things took a turn for the worse. That's when her father, Northeast girls track coach Carlos Williams, received a terrifying phone call.
Taylor had been shot in the leg.
“My daughter has her own special ringtone,” Carlos said. “Once I heard it that late at night I was scared immediately. That's a heck of a phone call for a parent to get.”
At first, Taylor wasn't sure she would even walk again, let alone run. But on Friday, she competed in the Class 2A state track meet at Carl Albert High School and qualified for the finals in three events: the 400-meter relays, 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash.
Taylor and her friends were in Norman that night. Not being very familiar with the area or others at the party, they knew it was time to go once a fight broke out.
“We thought if we left immediately we wouldn't get caught up in it,” Taylor said.
That's when she ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
“We were just trying to get to our car and little did we know what we were walking into,” Taylor said. “The first shot I heard went into my leg. It sent a vibration through my entire body. We just dropped to the ground and there was gunfire all around us. We were caught in the middle of it.”
When Taylor arrived at the emergency room, her concern turned to relief.
“The doctors told me it went straight through my leg, just barely missing my Achilles,” Taylor said. “I was relieved when they told me I would still be able to run track.”
Taylor's recovery went more smoothly than she expected, and she didn't even miss any of the track season.
“The most important thing to me then was that I got to take her home that night,” Carlos said. “But it was also a relief to know that she would be able to run again. She's been running track since she was six, so this means a lot to her. She's been incredibly tough. I'm just so proud of her.”