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Family: Woman blinded in New Year's shooting
Jessie Brownlee

Family and a close friend of a Gainesville woman shot at a New Year’s Day party in Gainesville said the woman was blinded as a result of her injuries.

Authorities were called out after 3 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1, to a report of a man shooting inside 100 Spring St. in Gainesville, a multi-suite commercial building that includes Lanier Therapy in Motion. A company received its first approval in December to turn part of the building into an events venue.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chris Dale said three people were found with gunshot wounds.

Officers found Warner Brock, 56, and Jessie Brownlee, 35, in critical condition, and both were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.

Jessie Brownlee’s longtime friend Ashley Fulmer organized a Gofundme account for Jessie Brownlee.

No information was provided regarding a fundraising account for Brock.

Fulmer shared a post with The Times that was also posted on the fundraising page from Jessie Brownlee’s sister, providing some of the details from the night that changed Jessie’s life “in the blink of an eye.”

According to the family, Jessie Brownlee was hit by two bullets. One bullet entered her left wrist, breaking bone and cutting an artery. 

The family said she will still have full motion of her wrist and fingers.

The second bullet entered into the left side of Brownlee’s temple, according to the family.

“I have been told that the skull fracture she endured actually saved her life, because when her brain began to swell, it had room to swell,” according to her post. “Her sinus cavity is completely gone. Her eyes were injured. Her frontal left lobe was completely damaged.”

Fulmer said they learned Jan. 6 that Jessie Brownlee lost her sight.

“There was just (too) much damage and if they wouldn't have removed (her eyes), they may not have been able to save her life,” according to the family’s post.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, the fundraiser has garnered $19,050 in donations.

“We are nowhere near out of the woods, but Jessie Brownlee amazes me every single day,” according to the post on the fundraising page. “She is so strong and if this has proven anything, it is that she is not going down without a fight. Please continue to pray for her, pray that she will regain some of her memory and that she comes out of this stronger (than) ever before.”

Dale said 37-year-old Brian Brownlee, Jessie Brownlee’s husband, was found dead with a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities said they believe Brian Brownlee was the shooter and that the incident “stemmed from a domestic argument.”

The Sheriff’s Office has not released any further information on the case since the initial news release Jan. 1.

“The investigation is still open and ongoing, and we’re not going to get into the number of shots fired or other details at this point,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth wrote in an email. “As far as what led up to the domestic situation, that’s immaterial.”

Northeast Georgia Medical Center officials said Brock was in satisfactory condition Wednesday, Jan. 13. Attempts to reach family and friends for a more detailed account of his recovery were unsuccessful.