Chandra Nierman is lucky to be alive.
Earlier this month, Nierman's boyfriend, 46-year-old Steven Kelley, savagely beat and strangled her while yelling that he was going to cut her throat and kill everyone in the house, according to a joint statement from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office.
Nierman had recently moved to North Carolina from Indiana with Kelley and her three children — a 12-year-old boy and two girls, ages 15 and 16.
"Nierman’s twelve-year-old son retrieved a firearm and Nierman’s fifteen-year-old daughter took the gun from her brother and fired it twice, striking the deceased male in the chest," officials said in the statement. "One of the fired rounds fragmented, grazing Nierman’s sixteen-year-old daughter in the leg. The sixteen-year-old was taken to Spartanburg Regional Hospital and was released on Thursday, August 9, 2018. Nierman suffered significant bruises and contusions from the assault."
Law enforcement officials discovered that Kelley had threatened Nierman numerous times previously.
Four days before the attack, Kelley had assaulted Nierman "and fired multiple rounds from a firearm inside the residence to threaten and terrorize Nierman."
Authorities also learned another piece of disturbing information: Kelley was a convicted felon who had multiple active protection orders lodged against him.
In other words, he was not legally allowed to purchase or possess firearms, but that didn't stop him because he was a criminal and criminals — by their very definition — do not follow laws.