Jordan Frasier was granted an exclusive interview as a reporter with the Clark College Independent in the fall of 2009. Nursing student Brittany Lore was involved in a domestic violence work place shooting and she chose to share her story only with Jordan. This story appeared in the November 18th edition of The Independent.
This story took first place in the 2010 Washington Community College Journalism Association Awards for Personality Profile.
The Scariest Moment of Her Life
Clark nursing student Brittany Lore injured in workplace shooting
By: Jordan Frasier
November 10 was the first day of training for Clark nursing student Brittany Lore of Vancouver. The 20 year-old lab assistant for Legacy Health Systems was working to become a drug-test collector.
But in an instant, the seemingly normal day turned, becoming both terrifying and tragic.
“I am extremely lucky to be alive right now,” Lore said Nov. 13 while recovering at home.
Legacy’s Metro Lab in Tualatin, Ore. was the scene of a frightening workplace shooting that left two dead, two injured, and two children without parents.
Lore, who has worked at Legacy’s Holladay Park location since July 2008, had reported to Legacy’s Metro Lab in Tualatin for training that morning. There, she met Teresa Beiser, 36, who would train her in collecting samples.
While filling out paperwork for a patient near the lab’s lobby around 11:45 a.m., Lore’s work was interrupted.
“I heard an extremely loud noise that sounded like firecrackers and I heard the windows break,” Lore recalled.
At that moment Lore, Beiser, and another lab worker Tony Ochoa, 63, hit the floor to take cover under a desk. That’s when the trio saw a gunman coming around to where they were hiding.
“He yelled for Tony to run a few times until Tony finally left our hiding spot and began crawling out towards the front door,” Lore said.
Beiser and Lore then followed Ochoa toward the door.
“I stood up just as a shot hit Tony in the knee causing him to fall to the ground,” Lore said.
As the gunman opened fire, Lore ran for the door. But before reaching it, she fell to the glass-covered floor.
“I got back up and ran through the door that had been shattered and I drug my foot along the bottom of the door frame, cutting myself on the jagged glass,” Lore said.
After falling for a second time and losing her shoe, Lore ran to the street, only to find that the lab sits 10 feet above street level.
“I grabbed the nearest thing to me, a long branch, and jumped down,” Lore said. “I saw a truck passing by and began waving my arms to get his attention.”
With her lab coat covered in blood and more blood coming from her head, hands, and legs, Lore rode with the driver to a nearby Subway restaurant.
At Subway two men held napkins to Lore’s wounds, trying to stop the bleeding. At the same time someone else in the restaurant called 911.
Paramedics arrived and Lore was transported to Legacy Trauma Center to be treated for her injuries.
“I have over 50 cuts on my legs from glass and about 20 stitches in some of the deeper cuts,” Lore said. “One of the cuts in my left ankle cut an artery which contributed to a lot of blood loss.”
Lore also has a possible fracture in her left ankle and doctors removed a bullet fragment from the back of her head.
“In addition to those injuries I have countless pieces of glass in my legs and bullet fragments in my hands, fingers and one small piece above my eye,” Lore said. “As of today (11/13) I still cannot fully hear out of my left ear and it constantly rings.”
Both Lore and Ochoa made it out of the lab with their lives.
The same cannot be said for Beiser.
Teresa Beiser died of multiple gunshot wounds fired by her estranged husband Robert James Beiser, 39, who later killed himself in one of the lab’s collection rooms.
“Tony and I had only met once before, when he was doing my collection for my job back in 2008,” Lore said. “That day was the first time I had met Teresa, we had only an hour and a half together in which we talked a lot, mostly about school and her kids.”
The Department of Human Services is now working to determine who will care for Robert and Teresa Beiser’s two children.
After high school, Lore started college to pursue a degree in biology, but later switched to nursing.
“I wanted a more hands on approach so I switched schools and started working on the pre-requisites for nursing at Clark,” Lore said.
And even after last week’s events, Lore still intends to pursue a career in nursing.
“Although I never want to experience anything like what I experienced on Tuesday,” Lore said, “the amazing treatment I received from all my doctors and nurses only reinforced my career decision.”
Since last week’s event, friends and family have come to Lore’s side.
“Everyone was worried about me, the media made many of my injuries seem worse than they were,” Lore said.
The media attention on Lore was intense, but for the most part, she declined comment.
“Immediately after the Tualatin Police released my name I had news crews at my door. After I denied an interview they went to my neighbor’s house,” Lore said. “My relatives all over Vancouver were receiving phone calls and visits from news crews.”
For now, Lore is coming to terms with what took place at Metro Lab.
“Tuesday’s events will forever change my outlook on life, I am extremely lucky to be alive right now,” Lore said. “I now know what’s important in my life and what’s not. Although I have a lot of things to work out emotionally, I know that this will make me a better person.”
And with her injuries, Lore is looking toward recovery.
“My wounds have already begun healing,” Lore said. “The extent of my ankle injury is still unknown so that could take weeks to months. The staples in my head and my stitches will come out in about a week whereas the glass and shrapnel have to come out of my skin on their own.”
With everything Lore has been through in the last week, there is one thing she knows for sure.
“Tuesday was the scariest day of my life,” Lore said. “That’s really all I have to say about it.”