The wife of an Oklahoma man is speaking out after a vicious attack outside a Shawnee bar left her husband hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
Now, she and her family are going after the men who did it.
“I’m pushing for the hardest punishment we can get on those guys,” Jamie Carolina told Atlanta Black Star in an exclusive interview. “Because I want people to see that this stuff happens … more than one in a lifetime. It’s out there and happens all the time.”
Jamie’s husband, Shawn Carolina, and a friend were beaten by two white men outside the Brickhouse Saloon in Shawnee on June 22 — an incident they believe was racially motivated. Shawn is African-American.
Witness video from the incident showed suspects Brandon Killian, 28, and Devan Johnson, 24, pummeling the victims and shouting racial slurs before driving off in their pickup truck. Both are now charged in the incident and could face a hate crime enhancement if Carolina has her way.
“We are pressing for a hate crime,” she said, noting that the district attorney’s office is still reviewing the facts of the case.
After more than two weeks in the hospital, Jamie said her husband is finally back home and resting. However, his recovery could take some time.
“He’s still dealing with the broken rib,” she told ABS of Shawn’s injuries. “Right now, he’s kind of suffering from dizzy spells, headaches, and his vision isn’t 100 percent. His equilibrium is off, so he doesn’t have good balance.”
Carolina said her husband also suffered a concussion in the attack and now experiences short term memory loss, leaving him with zero recollection of what led to the brutal attack.
“He wasn’t even aware of what got him in the hospital,” she added. “I had to explain to him everything that was going on. But … he still didn’t remember anything. He didn’t understand anything.”
Doctors said they’re unsure if that memory will ever come back, Carolina said.
The brutal assault on Shawn and his friend reportedly followed a separate incident involving Killian and Johnson at the bar. According to Carolina, the pair were buying rounds for everyone when they began hurling racial slurs at a Black woman and her friend. After their racist vitriol drove the women out of the bar, the men then directed their insults Shawn’s cousin, DeNeisha Moon.
Carolina said her husband jumped to Moon’s defense, and words were exchanged. The furor died down, however, and the men seemingly “made peace” inside the bar. Johnson and Killian even enjoyed a drink with Shawn, she said.
Things took a grim turn, however, when Shawn and his friend were headed out to their car.
“It’s almost like they waited until everyone my husband was with left, except for his one friend,” Carolina told ABS, adding that the video showed the suspects “were ready to fight.”
“They had time to think about it and knew what they were going to do,” she said.
Both Killian and Johnson, who alleged Shawn and his friend tried to rob them in an alley, are charged with aggravated assault and battery in the June 22 attack. Killian, who’s on parole, was arraigned on the charges on June 24, when a judge set his bond at $25,000.
With his drug court now revoked, the defendant will likely head back to jail to serve out the rest of his sentence for a prior offense, Carolina said.
Meanwhile, Johnson bonded out of jail over the final weekend of June.
As for Shawn’s friend, who is white, he suffered minor injuries in the attack and didn’t have to receive medical treatment.
A GoFundMe campaign launched on the family’s behalf has since raised $3,590 in donations.