'Petite gal with a big spirit': Fundraiser setup for Belgrade sh - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

'Petite gal with a big spirit': Fundraiser setup for Belgrade shooting victim

Posted: Updated:
BOZEMAN -

A Belgrade woman remains in critical condition nearly five days after surviving a gunshot wound to the head. But Ashley Van Hemert’s family is optimistic that her strong spirit and faith will carry her through to recovery.

“She’s a fighter,” says Van Hemert’s sister, Carissa DeVries. “She’s stubborn so we know that she’ll get through this.”

Van Hemert, 32, was the lone survivor of a tragic double shooting Sunday in Belgrade. Court documents state Van Hemert and her roommate Lauren DeWise were both shot in the head at least once.

DeWise and Van Hemert were sharing the house with a third roommate, who found them both early Sunday morning and ran to the neighbors to call for help. Van Hemert was conscious when police arrived, but DeWise died of her injuries.

The man accused of shooting both women is 47-year-old Joseph Paul DeWise, Lauren’s estranged husband. Paul DeWise is charged with deliberate homicide and is being held at the Gallatin Co. Detention Center on an $800,000 bond.

Documents state Lauren DeWise had moved into the house about two months before, escaping ongoing physical abuse from her husband.

Van Hemert, a CNA at Bozeman Health, is originally from South Dakota, but moved to Bozeman nine years ago.

“She has always loved the mountains, she loves the outdoors, she loves hiking, skiing and snowboarding. So I really think the mountains are what drew her out there,” DeVries said.

Van Hemert is the oldest of eight children, and DeVries describes her as a “petite gal with a big personality”.

DeVries says her sister and her dog, Bronson, are inseparable. 

DeVries says Van Hemert is known for her giving spirit and desire to help people, which shines through in her work as a volunteer with Eagle Mount and her mission trip to Ethiopia in 2014.

She still sponsors an Ethiopian child she met on that trip.

“She is one of the most giving people you will ever meet,” DeVries says of her older sister. “[Ashley] has a passion for helping others.”

Now hundreds of people are giving back to Van Hemert; a YouCaring page set up to help with her medical expenses and recovery has raised more than $16,000 so far. A link to that page can be found here.

For DeVries and Van Hemert’s large family, DeVries says their faith is giving them strength.

“Our faith in God is definitely what’s keeping us grounded and giving us hope. And we know that he has the ultimate plan for her life,” DeVries said.

“We pray everyday, every morning and night for her. And without our faith, I don’t know how we would be holding up with this.” In addition to the YouCaring page, a Facebook page ‘Pray for Ashley’ has been setup to keep people up to date on her condition and recovery.

"She's doing as good as she can be, we ask for continued prayers for her to make a full recovery,” DeVries said.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • UM announces Griz quarterback departure

    UM announces Griz quarterback departure

    Monday, April 23 2018 2:03 PM EDT2018-04-23 18:03:12 GMT

    MISSOULA - The University of Montana Grizzlies announced Monday that quarterback Gresch Jensen is transferring to another school.

    MISSOULA - The University of Montana Grizzlies announced Monday that quarterback Gresch Jensen is transferring to another school.

  • Boat carrying zebra mussels stopped at Anaconda inspection station

    Boat carrying zebra mussels stopped at Anaconda inspection station

    Monday, April 23 2018 2:20 PM EDT2018-04-23 18:20:20 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 2:20 PM EDT2018-04-23 18:20:20 GMT
    (Courtesy: MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks) Zebra mussels found on bottom of boat(Courtesy: MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks) Zebra mussels found on bottom of boat
    (Courtesy: MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks) Zebra mussels found on bottom of boat(Courtesy: MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks) Zebra mussels found on bottom of boat

    The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Anaconda watercraft inspection station intercepted a boat carrying zebra mussels Friday. 

    The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Anaconda watercraft inspection station intercepted a boat carrying zebra mussels Friday. 

  • UPDATE: 9-year-old killed in ATV crash

    UPDATE: 9-year-old killed in ATV crash

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:57 PM EDT2018-04-22 21:57:33 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 5:10 PM EDT2018-04-23 21:10:57 GMT

    According to the Montana Highway Patrol incidents page, a fatal crash occurred on Sloans Lane around 12:40 this afternoon. The crash happened near where Sloan Lane crosses Boulder Frontage Road just outside of Boulder. The number of people or vehicles involved has not yet been released.

    According to the Montana Highway Patrol incidents page, a fatal crash occurred on Sloans Lane around 12:40 this afternoon. The crash happened near where Sloan Lane crosses Boulder Frontage Road just outside of Boulder. The number of people or vehicles involved has not yet been released.

  • Prescribed burn planned for popular Blue Mountain recreation area

    Prescribed burn planned for popular Blue Mountain recreation area

    Monday, April 23 2018 12:11 PM EDT2018-04-23 16:11:30 GMT

    MISSOULA - A prescribed burn is planned for Monday at the Blue Mountain Recreation Area, weather permitting. The Missoula Ranger District of Lolo National Forest is planning to burn 80 acres of understory off Blue Mountain Road and the McClay Flat trailhead. The burn will help clear old old underbrush, encourage Ponderosa pine growth and prevent the likelihood of a wildfire spreading too quickly, officials say. If the prescribed burn goes as planned, public access may be limited to...

    MISSOULA - A prescribed burn is planned for Monday at the Blue Mountain Recreation Area, weather permitting. The Missoula Ranger District of Lolo National Forest is planning to burn 80 acres of understory off Blue Mountain Road and the McClay Flat trailhead. The burn will help clear old old underbrush, encourage Ponderosa pine growth and prevent the likelihood of a wildfire spreading too quickly, officials say. If the prescribed burn goes as planned, public access may be limited to...

  • First responders shift from active shooter training to wildland fire

    First responders shift from active shooter training to wildland fire

    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:13 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:13:34 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:26 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:26:19 GMT
    Park County First responders shift their focus from active shooter training to an active wildfire Saturday afternoon.Park County First responders shift their focus from active shooter training to an active wildfire Saturday afternoon.

    An active shooter training day shifted into actual wildland fire coverage in Park County Saturday.

    An active shooter training day shifted into actual wildland fire coverage in Park County Saturday.

  • Missoula's Western Cider hosts cider tree sale

    Missoula's Western Cider hosts cider tree sale

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:28 AM EDT2018-04-23 15:28:45 GMT

    Missoula's Western Cider hosted a cider tree sale Sunday.

    Missoula's Western Cider hosted a cider tree sale Sunday.

  • Take Flight: An aerial tour of two of Montana's Wilderness Study Areas

    Take Flight: An aerial tour of two of Montana's Wilderness Study Areas

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:42 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:42:16 GMT

    Wilderness Study Areas: hundreds of thousands of acres of some of Montana's wildest lands. But these public lands may look a lot different in the future. Aboard an EcoFlight, ABC FOX Montana's Angela Marshall flew over two Wilderness Study Areas to find out more about the storm brewing between the summits.

    Wilderness Study Areas: hundreds of thousands of acres of some of Montana's wildest lands. But these public lands may look a lot different in the future. Aboard an EcoFlight, ABC FOX Montana's Angela Marshall flew over two Wilderness Study Areas to find out more about the storm brewing between the summits.

  • To Pursue the American Dream

    To Pursue the American Dream

    Tuesday, April 17 2018 7:29 PM EDT2018-04-17 23:29:52 GMT
    “Over 40” club soccer club of Great Americans
    “Over 40” club soccer club of Great Americans
Powered by Frankly

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.