AP NEWS

Fundraisers planned for Seymour fire lieutenant’s daughter shot last month

May 1, 2019

SEYMOUR — Local firefighters and veterans are joining forces to help a former Seymour fire lieutenant’s daughter who was shot three times at her naval base last month.

VFW Post 12084 Commander Al Yagovane said his members will hold a boot drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11 at 147 Day St, outside of Retina Systems. Great Hill Hose Fire Co. will also be collecting from 9 a.m. noon the same day in front of the Dunkin Donuts in Tri-Town Plaza at 814 Derby Ave. It is also anticipated that Citizen’s Engine Co. will hold a boot drive from 9 a.m. to noon the same day at the corner of Wakeley and Bank streets.

The fundraiser is geared to help Jillian Cowell and her family with expenses, including lodging, gas, food and transportation.

Cowell, 20, was shot three times at point-blank range in the parking lot of her naval base in Virginia on April 5. The shooter, which news reports identified as a fellow sailor at the base, was shot and killed, by base security.

Cowell, according to reports from her family and friends on a fundraising page, has since had several surgeries to help reconstruct her leg, and is expected to require more, while she continues a long journey of recovery.

Cowell, a 2017 graduate of Oxford High School, is the daughter of former Great Hill Hose. Co. Lt. Chris Cowell Sr. The family rushed to be by Cowell’s side in the hospital in Virginia and have remained there since, according to Yagovane.

Cowell’s brother is in the Marine Corps., and also an active member of Great Hill Hose Co. when he’s in town, Yagovane said.

Yagovane said he and the firefighters want to do their part back home to help the Cowell family during this difficult time, and encouraged the public to stop by the boot drive with open hearts.

“We want to help the family with expenses for lodging, food, medical…whatever they need,” Yagovane said. “Here is a bright young girl, embarking on a lifelong dream to begin a career in the Navy and this horrible tragedy happens. I do hope she will be able to fulfill that dream.”

Great Hill Hose Co. President Steve Culmo said the department doesn’t hold boot drives very often and don’t raise funds for the department itself, but when “one of our own” is in need of help, the volunteer firefighters jump into action.

“We’re trying to do what we can to relieve the (financial) pressure for the family,” Culmo said.

Culmo said he spoke with Chris Cowell Sr. last week and got an update about his daughter.

“She is very determined and she is very motivated,” Culmo said.

Culmo said Cowell is expected to be transferred to a facility associated with the Wounded Warrior Project for rehabilitation.

Culmo said Chris Cowell told him the Navy is holding a spot for Cowell “for light duty” when she’s able to return to work.

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