THE estranged wife of Newport gunman Darren Williams believes he planned to kill her before taking his own life.
Speaking for the first time from her bed at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, Rachel Williams recalled the moment the former nightclub doorman walked into the Carol Ann Hair Salon on Malpas Road where she worked, shooting her and injuring two others on August 19.
The mother-of-two was standing at the front desk when he walked through the door and took out a double barrelled shotgun.
Without thinking, she lunged forward and tried to wrestle it from him before he hit her to the floor, striking her head with the butt of the gun.
He punched and kicked her as she lay there pleading him to stop before she pulled a table on top of herself for protection.
She said: “He pummelled me. I don’t know how I didn’t get a broken nose or jaw.”
Moments later, Williams pointed the gun at her and opened fire. Mrs Williams instinctively pulled her knees to her chest and was hit in the left leg.
She said: “I pleaded with him not to do it. If it hadn’t have been in my leg I wouldn’t be here now.
Then the second time he shot, he said ‘Rachel I love you’ but that shot went around the room. I know he had come in there to kill me. I believe it was one bullet for me and one bullet for him.
“I think hanging himself was a back up plan for him, he was very meticulous about planning things.”
Mrs Williams was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital where doctors feared her leg was so badly injured she might lose it.
She was later transferred to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital where she underwent an eight-hour operation.
Surgeons rebuilt her shin bone, replaced her knee joint and tendons and moved part of her calf muscle to support her knee.
She also underwent a skin graft, had seven stitches in her ear and was left with bruises all over her face and body from the attack.
The hairdresser was also left with a scar, which runs from her knee down to her ankle, which she says is a permanent reminder of what happened.
For now, the 39-year-old is confined to her bed at the hospital where she will remain for the next four weeks.
Doctors are confident she will walk again but she will need physiotherapy to get her back on her feet and she is unlikely to get full movement back in her knee.
There is also the possibility that she will need may also need more operations in future, but she remains determined this will not ruin her life.
She said: “I am not out of the woods yet because if I get an infection then there will be problems. It’s a waiting game we have to see how it pans out, it’s not pretty but I have still got a leg.”
The mum to Josh, 20, and Jack,16, said she has yet to come to terms with the heavy goods vehicle driver’s death, but she always knew she would not see him again.
She said: “I knew they wouldn’t find him alive, I had anticipated it and he told me days before ‘by hook or by crook I will kill myself.'
“I don’t think, until I grieve for him, that it will register at the moment. I am just interested in getting myself better, then any bridges I have got to cross I will have to do when I go home.”
Read more of Mrs William's interview in Friday's Argus.