By Anne Calos
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — On the morning of Dec. 5, 2012, life changed forever for Leanne Tucker and her 3-year-old daughter Leah.
That’s the day Leanne’s 44-year-old husband, Morris Tucker, shot her in the face and locked himself in their Campbell Boulevard home with little Leah.
Thankfully, Leanne was able to get out to the road and flag down a car for help.
In the tense hours that followed, police surrounded the home in a standoff that lasted more than three hours. Eventually, the police started calling Leah’s name, and she emerged. Although Leah was physically unharmed, she was present when her father shot himself to death.
In the meantime, her mother was undergoing emergency surgery at Erie County Medical Center for the gunshot wound to her lower jaw.
It would be the first of three major surgeries Leanne has undergone so far.
On Saturday, April 27, family and friends are sponsoring a fundraiser for Leanne and her daughter, to help with medical bills not covered by insurance and to set up a trust fund for Leah.
The fundraiser will run from 2 to 7 p.m. at South Lockport Fire Hall, and will include food, beverages, a basket raffle, 50/50 raffle and a play area for children, featuring movies, crafts, and lots of kid-centered activities. There will also be a special big ticket item — a No. 15 Buffalo Bench-Style Drill Press 110V. The tickets for this item are $20 and can be purchased at the door or by calling 625-8131.
“We want this to be a family-oriented event. That’s what this is all about —family. I don’t know what we would have done without the support of our family and friends, and the entire community,” Leanne said.
So far, Leanne has undergone three surgeries. At first her jaw was wired, but that wasn’t holding, so in the third surgery on March 1, plates were placed in Leanne’s jaw. Unfortunately, her jaw and teeth are still not lined up properly, making it difficult for her to chew and eat.
“I have to see the surgeon next week. They may have to re-break my jaw and start over, but I may be able to get braces to see if that corrects it. The surgery in March took a lot out of me, but I’m trying to stay very positive throughout this whole thing,” Leanne said.
Although she‘s been through a lot physically, Leanne knows it could have been much worse, and her main focus is her daughter.
“Leah knows everything that happened. She’s a very smart little girl. She was in the house, and she knows that her daddy shot her mommy and then shot himself, and that he’s in Heaven. Basically, she’s doing extremely well, but there are days when she says she really misses her daddy and asks me if she will ever get to see him again,” Leanne said.
That’s why Leanne wants to set up a trust fund for Leah.
“If anything happens to me, I want to be sure that she will be all right,” Leanne said.
Leanne has been unable to return to work yet, but she’s trying to move forward and look to the future.
“I’m just happy to be here, and I’m taking it one day at a time. I’ve seen how this has affected my daughter and my whole family, and I’m staying strong for them. My biggest concern has been for my family,” Leanne said.
“My family and the community have just been wonderful. They’ve been here for us — I just can’t thank the community enough. It’s nice to see that there so many good people out there.”