Family seeks answers after Raleigh grandmother shot in leg while driving

Josh Chapin Image
Friday, July 13, 2018

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Eleanor Padilla is one of Lenke Gerzsenyi's three children.

"She's a wonderful person," said Padilla. "Anybody you talk to would say she doesn't have a bad bone in her body. She's just so loving."

Her three children are now taking care of this 65-year-old mother and grandmother of three after Raleigh police say she was shot last week -- an innocent victim who was shot in the leg as she drove to the grocery store on July 4.

"She loves running," said Padilla. "That's one of the reasons I think she survived this. She was running four miles a day. She had an angel: that's all I can say."

Neither investigators nor the family knows who shot her. Her daughter said her mom was going to get last minute groceries for the holiday at the Harris Teeter on the corner of Creedmoor Road and Millbrook but passed it because she couldn't get over.

"She said, 'Oh, I'll just make a U-turn on Town and Country,'" Padilla said. "Right around there she heard a noise -- she thought it was her car, and she realized there was blood everywhere. I mean, she didn't think she was shot."

Somehow Gerzsenyi managed to call 911 after pulling off the road. In the 911 call, you can hear paramedics arrive within two to three minutes.

"I really have to give it to the 911 operator because (Gerzsenyi) does have a heavy accent," Padilla said. "It created a Coke-can-sized wound in the back of her leg and it went all the way down her calf and wrapped around the back."

The family is asking for anyone who saw anything last week to come forward.

"If that fire station wasn't a half mile away, she would've died," Padilla said. "I hope that mentally this doesn't make her fearful of just going out and about. When you're in a car, you think you're safe and now you need to be worried about bullets coming into your car."

Padilla said her mother is being treated at WakeMed and will likely be there for another five days.