CANNON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The only survivor of a brutal attack that left two people dead in Cannon County is speaking about the ordeal for the first time.
Laura Jastre, 29, spent five months in the hospital after the event and had 29 surgeries. The right side of her face was reconstructed with titanium and she has an acrylic eye.
“We thought we were safe, secure and nothing was going to happen, but that’s not it,” Jastre said. “People can go crazy at any moment.”
Jastre says she pulled into the driveway of her friend’s Cannon County home on Jan. 15. Her friend, 42-year-old David Wooten, was driving and 19-year-old Lizzie Clement was in the back seat.
She admits she spent a lot of time at the house doing drugs, mostly methamphetamine. That’s what she planned to do that day, but she says 36-year-old Robert Jesse Mount was waiting for them.
Jastre says she knew Mount from her group of friends but says she hadn’t seen him in more than a month when he was standing in the driveway.
“Before we could even put the car in park, he just starts shooting,” Jastre said.
Wooten was shot several times and died on the scene. Jastre and Clement ran inside the home but Mount followed them.
“Jesse sat on top of me and he had a hunting knife in one hand and a box cutter in the other and he’s stabbing me,” she said. “I’m catching it with my hands but he catches my eye with the box cutter.”
Her hands have multiple scars and two of her fingers now won’t move. At the end of the ordeal, Jastre had been stabbed 37 times and shot four times.
She says the owner of the home and his 8-year-old son found her and Clement.
“When they found me, my neck was completely cut open and my insides were on the bed,” said Jastre. “I have no pulse and I’m covered head to toe in blood.”
Jastre and Clement were rushed to St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital and then flown via LifeFlight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Clement was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt, but miraculously, Jastre survived.
She says she often wonders why she survived and her two friends didn’t. She wants to now use her story to hopefully convince people to stay off or quit drugs.
“You may think you’re deep in the drug world and deep into the lifestyle and you can’t get out but you can,” said Jastre. “And it’s not worth it.”
Jastre says she’s sober and doing great. Her one regret is not being able to say goodbye to her friends.
“David would give you the shirt off his back even if it’s all he had,” he said. “He just had the biggest heart and Lizzie, that girl was a fighter.”
One question remains: why did Mount attack the group? Jastre hopes to get those answers in court. Mount’s trial begins next month.