Woman: 'Playing Dead Saved My Life'


Most of the customers at the restaurant where Amanda Groves works don't know it, but the Hilliard woman was targeted for death.

"The only thing I could remember was all the flashing from the gun," Groves said.

Last August, Groves was shot by the man she married - a man who she claims was not the violent type, 10TV's Brittany Westbrook reported.

"(Billy Groves had) no violent behavior -- (he) never treated me wrongly," Groves said.

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According to Groves, she never feared her husband until they separated.

"The arguments started getting worse," Groves said.  "A lot of things between us were very nasty.  It was a side of him that I had never seen before.  That's when the stalking started."

Groves filed a police report on Aug. 4 when her car was vandalized.  The following day, records showed that she called Hilliard police.

"(He was) walking up and down my street," Groves said.  "He always would just so happen to be somewhere on my way to work -- the gas station, the bank -- somewhere conveniently in my path."

The stalking turned physical when their paths crossed in a park in early August.  According to Groves, Billy followed her and a friend to the park and beat them up.

"That's when I got the protection order," Groves said.  "The prosecutor didn't feel that they should press charges at that point.  (I) don't understand that."

After that, she said that Billy Groves made his presence known every day.

According to a civil protection order granted on Aug. 13, Billy Groves was ordered to not come within 500 feet of his wife.  Just over a month later, he violated every stipulation of the order, Westbrook reported.

"I went to put my key in the door and it just pushed open," Groves said.  "I'm thinking to myself, I just didn't click it all the way shut or whatever."

At about midnight on Sept. 29, Groves and a friend just returned from an evening out.

"As soon as I pushed the door open, he started firing," She said.  "I (turned) to run.  The first shot hit me in the doorway of my house."

The bullet entered Groves' back.  It just missed her spine and severed her liver into two pieces.  She made it to her driveway before falling to the ground.  Groves said that she played dead and waited for the shooting to stop.

"He did kick me repeatedly in the face while I was in the driveway before he ran back in the house," Groves said.

More gunshots followed and then there was silence, Westbrook reported.

"It went silent," Groves said.  "Everything was silent."

Police found Billy Groves in the house.  He was dead, with a semiautomatic weapon in his hand.

After spending four of six weeks in the hospital with a coma and multiple surgeries to repair her liver, Amanda Groves learned that Billy killed himself.

According to Amanda, Billy Groves made a videotape the night of the shootings.  She described him as acting calm while mentioning he was going to shoot and kill her.

"He said he was doing what she thought, in his heart, was right," Amanda Groves said.

She wonders whether things would have changed if Billy were arrested after the incident that took place in the park.

"I did everything I was supposed to do," Groves said.  "The protection order did nothing but give me a false sense of security."

Now that she is back to work, Amanda is trying to put the terror behind her.  Even in surviving, there are challenges.  Amanda Groves lost her house because she could not work and victims' assistance was not enough.  She is soon going to have another surgery.

Amanda says that she will never play dead again.

"(Billy) will not win this battle," she said.  "He left thinking I was dead.  Somebody was watching after me."

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September 29, 2007:  Police:  Man Dies, Woman Shot In Back