NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Nine months after a near-deadly shooting, a Berkeley County deputy shares her story to the public at Charleston Southern University.
Corporal Kimber Gist, a graduate and current student at the University, spoke about her February 26 shootout incident Thursday.
"I could actually see the sparks flying of the cement every time he shot back while I was laying on the ground," she told CSU faculty, staff, and students.
Gist was invited by her professor who teaches criminal justice, to share the gritty details of her story, and her experience in law enforcement.
Gist suffered at least four gunshot wounds to her ear, lip, hip, and foot.
"I saw my foot blow up in my face," she said. "I saw the bones fly out of my foot, and that one hurt!"
Gist said she was getting ready to go off duty when she noticed a car in the parking lot off of the Food Lion grocery story off Red Bank Road.
She said something didn't sit right about the situation so she approached the car that had two people in it.
She said saw a woman sitting in the front passenger seat, and a back sitting in the back.
"As soon as me standing there they were just shaking," she said. "Nobody just randomly starts shaking when you're talking to someone unless you're nervous."
After several initial questions including why they were there, and if they had driver's licenses, she separated them.
Moving the man in the backseat to her car, at his request, she said she did a protective pat down on the person she originally thought was a woman. That's when things got violent.
"I hear something really, really loud by my left ear, and I saw something really bright," she said. "It was so bright that it kind of blinded me. All I saw was little white dots."
A shootout followed thereafter when she hit the ground.
Gist said she tried to call for backup, but later realized her radio had taken on a bullet.
The woman, who was later identified as a man, took off in the car, and was involved in a standoff with police before he took his own life.
Gist was taken to Trident Medical with severe injuries.
"I said I'll be there, just stay there, I'm on the way and that's all I could do, because I didn't know what to do but say I was on the way and I loved her," said Deloise Gist, Kimber's mother.
Gist has never talked about what happened in detail like this until now, speaking at her alma mater and the school where she's earning her Master's degree.
"I'm a little in shock that so many people showed up and wanted to hear my story," she said. "I'm thankful at the same time."
"She's kind of known around here as [a hero]," said Freshman Rebecca Detwiler. "You just look up to her and that's why I came out today, I wanted to hear her story."
"I knew she could do it," said Gist. "I knew that's why God kept her here. He has something great in store for her, she's going to be amazing."
Gist is still recovering from her surgeries over the last nine months.
She hopes to get back to patrolling the roads as soon as possible.