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Ash Grove man, shot in head a nearly week ago, returns home for recovery

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 7:08 PM CDT
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ASH GROVE, Mo. (KY3) - A little more than a week ago, Dakota Watson was caught in the crossfire while trying to do something family and friends say he does best, helping others.

Watson was over at a co-worker’s apartment keeping her company after she asked him for help, worried about her ex-boyfriend’s behavior. He said his co-worker told him that he had a history of stalking and said she was afraid to be home alone that night.

But later that night, police say her ex-boyfriend Keith Rubble made his way in to the apartment.

”Terrifying, it was terrifying whenever I heard the door get kicked in, not kicked in, I don’t know if he kicked it, but forced his way inside and started screaming at her,” he said. “So that was terrifying.”

Watson said he hid in a closet, trying not to “escalate the situation.” While he was in the closet, Rubble fired a few shots.

“At that point it was, you might get shot, and once that door was shot it was, you are going to get shot,” he said. “Just wait for impact.”

He said the fear went away when the shots were fired toward him.

“It was not even panic anymore,” he said. “I was just trying to brace myself as far from the door as I could. It was not fear or anything. It was just waiting for I knew what was going to happen.”

His mother said it was very hard to watch her son suffer in pain while he was at the hospital.

“It was hard not knowing what was coming,” Watson’s mother Christine Courtney said. “The pain was tremendous. And hearing the sounds that came from him because of the pain was unbearable.”

Watson said he is still in great pain from his wounds.

“Trying to lay in bed to rest and not get a headache leads to lower back issues, leads to neck issues, which leads to more headaches,” he said. “It’s kind of just a vicious cycle. It gets better everyday. But not really a single day is really pleasant. Not having the freedom or mobility to go do literally anything is just a killer.”

His mother said it will be a slow recovery for her son, but she is happy to have him back home.

“Every time I speak with him, every time I give him medicine, I am thankful beyond words,” she said.

Watson and his mother said they are both grateful for the outcry of support they have received.

“We have great, great, great family and friends,” Courtney said. “People we don’t even know, not in this small area of Springfield, Willard, Ash Grove, but across the whole country sending prayers and offering anything they can do.”

Watson is also in a local band, Paralandra. The band hosted a benefit concert in his name to raise money. Both Watson and his mother said it felt strange not being there. But Watson said it meant so much to him.

“We have incredibly talented people that work in the music industry in Springfield,” he said. “Incredibly caring people. I would say the vast majority of people that came to that concert were Springfield musicians. I feel like Springfield musicians truly treat each other like family.”

Watson is still recovering and has periodic visits with doctors.

Kieth Rubble will be in court next week, facing charges of armed criminal action, burglary and unlawful use of a weapon.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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