ALBERTA

Shayna Conway, Claresholm Murder-Suicide Survivor, Gradually Improving

12/29/2011 05:26 EST | Updated 05/10/2013 05:12 EDT
A family friend says the sole survivor of a murder-suicide on an Alberta highway is making progress in her physiotherapy treatments for one of her injuries.

Shayna Conway has moved out of the intensive care unit at a Calgary hospital and has spent a part of the last few days in a rehabilitation unit being treated for a leg wound.

Rob Dale, a close friend who speaks to Conway's father every day, says he's been told Conway managed to put some weight on the leg and each day she's been able to move it a little bit more.

The 21-year-old was shot three times — once in the leg, once in the shoulder and once in the abdomen —while she was driving a group of friends from Lethbridge to the Calgary airport on Dec. 15.

Derek Jensen rammed their car from behind then opened fire on Conway when she pulled the vehicle to the side of the highway and stepped out of the car.

He also opened fire on the others in the vehicle, killing three people before turning the gun on himself.

Tanner Craswell and Mitch McLean were promising young baseball players on their way home to Prince Edward Island for Christmas. Tabitha Stepple was in a relationship with Jensen but they had recently split up.

Dale said the family has been encouraged by Conway's recent progress, though concerns remain about bullet fragments in her upper body.

"The shot in the leg and the shot in the stomach, those seem to be healing nicely," he said.

"The bullet that went into the shoulder and fragmented, they're (the doctors) continuing to watch that."

Conway's father Scott is from Ottawa, and he attends the church where Dale preaches.

Dale said Conway was dating Tanner Craswell before he moved to Lethbridge and she moved to Lethbridge to be with him.

The pastor said Conway and Craswell broke up, and Conway moved back to P.E.I. He said they remained close friends, and Conway later moved back to Lethbridge to pursue her studies.

Dale said that the young woman is encouraged by fundraising events being organized on her behalf, such as a skate planned for Friday in Charlottetown.

"She has been overwhelmed by support. Mom and Dad cry with each card delivered to the hospital. I know that Shayna has been blown away by the amount of support and encouragement from across the country," he said.

"She draws strength from it, for sure. With each of those kinds of events she's determined to get well and get home as soon as she can."