Shot Over a Parked Car, Washington Travel Nurse Has Long Road to Recovery, Family Says


A 37-year-old travel nurse working in Tacoma has been hospitalized for weeks since being shot in a dispute over a parking space. Doctors have told his family he'll never be the same.

Bradley Inniss drove last month to a coworker's place south of Tacoma to watch an NBA game. He'd been working at a behavioral health hospital in the city since March when he finished moving from his last nursing job in Maryland. According to Inniss and court records, he was playing dominoes in his friend's kitchen when the evening turned violent.

Another resident entered the apartment. Someone's car was parked in the man's assigned parking spot, and records state he argued with the people inside about it. Within seconds, a witness told Inniss' mother, the man pulled a gun and shot him once.

Nearly a month later, Inniss is struggling to recover at Tacoma General hospital. The bullet damaged his small bowel, colon and kidney, according to court records. His mother, Anna Inniss, 62, flew from the Caribbean island nation of Barbados to be at her son's bedside, and she said each day has brought new complications. Inniss has undergone five surgeries. His mother said they're not sure if her son will ever be able to work as a nurse again.

"He's fighting," Anna Inniss said in a phone call Thursday. "He's not going to give up."

From his bed, Bradley Inniss struggled to speak about the shooting. After multiple intubations, his vocal cords have been damaged. Still, he managed to say that the chief emotion he's felt throughout this ordeal is confusion.

It wasn't Inniss who parked in the other resident's space, according to Inniss' mother, it was one of the coworkers Iniss had been watching the basketball game with. Anna Inniss said that, immediately after the shooting, the coworker discovered his car had been blocked in by the gunman, so he drove Bradley Inniss' car to the hospital and started tracking down the man's emergency contact info to alert his family.

Inniss' mother got the news from Bradley's brother, who lives in Ontario, Canada. The family arranged for him to fly to Vancouver and take a bus south, Anna Inniss said. It wasn't until she started getting photos from her son's hospital room that she realized how badly he was hurt.

"I did not know it was this extreme," Anna Inniss said. "I know nothing about shooting. We are not involved in violence. We are Christian. I watch television and the guy gets shot and holds onto the location and runs away."

Two days after the shooting, May 10, Matthew Vo Trinh was charged with first-degree assault in Pierce County Superior Court for allegedly shooting Inniss. He was arrested less than a mile from the shooting scene. According to the declaration for determination of probable cause, he told Sheriff's Department deputies there had been friction between him and the other tenants in the residence. He allegedly said he wasn't threatened by anyone, but he felt like he might be beat up before he pulled his gun.

Trinh, 29, is on home monitoring after posting a bail bond for his $5,000 bail. According to court records, he has no prior criminal convictions.

Anna Inniss said she doesn't know what might have happened to the gunman before the shooting, but she hopes the man can get help. She said her son became a nurse because he wanted to work with people, and it was his passion for helping others that brought him to Washington.

Her son came to the United States from Barbados in 2007 to attend Louisiana State University in Shreveport on a sports scholarship for weightlifting, Anna Inniss said. She described Bradley as a gym enthusiast, but doctors have told her he won't be able to lift anything heavy for at least the next year. Inniss said even the stairs to his basement apartment would be too challenging.

"It's going to be a long journey," Anna Inniss said. "Only this Monday I spoke to a doctor again, and she reminded me it's not a sprint, it's a marathon."

She said she's thankful for the assistance her family has received. One of her son's coworkers set up a GoFundMe to raise money for medical and travel costs. Family members are taking turns staying with Bradley, Inniss said, and they need to find him a new place that's more easily accessible for him.