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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Girl aware she’s been shot in head

Thomas Clouse Staff writer

Tara Rader knows she’s been shot in the head. Her grandmother told her as she lay in critical condition in a Seattle hospital.

Tara, 13, is conscious after being shot directly between the eyes Sunday night by her 20-year-old boyfriend. He told police that he thought the gun was empty when he aimed it at the teen.

Reza Abghari, 20, remains in jail on a $75,000 bond on charges of second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Doctors at Harborview Medical Center have conducted a battery of tests on Tara, trying to determine whether they can remove the bullet that struck a main artery, said Tara’s mother, Lorein Rader, by telephone.

“When my mom told her she had been shot, she looked shocked. She doesn’t know exactly where she’s at,” Rader said.

Tara knows her right hand from her left hand and can raise two fingers. “The nurse asked her to give her a thumbs-up and she flipped her off,” Rader said. “That’s Tara.”

Rader said neurologists, an optometrist and general practitioner physicians have been trying to determine how to remove the .22-caliber bullet without causing further damage, Rader said.

“It’s nothing but total danger,” Rader said. “It’s a brain injury. They told me I couldn’t even touch her. They don’t want me to stimulate her.”

Nurses told Rader that it’s enough that Tara can hear her mother’s voice. “She wants out of there,” Rader said of her daughter.

Tara can breathe, but doctors were afraid she could develop an infection so they hooked her up to a respirator. Because of the respirator, Tara can’t talk, Rader said.

According to court documents, the shooting occurred during a party that Abghari was hosting at his house at 707 E. Kiernan. Tara and two teenage boys were in the home, and Abghari told police he had provided them vodka.

Abghari told police that one of the boys arrived at the house at about 11 p.m. with a .22-caliber pistol. Abghari took the gun and emptied the weapon by working the slide action back and forth several times.

“He then removed the magazine, believing that the weapon was in fact unloaded,” Detective Tim Madsen wrote in court documents.

Abghari pointed it at a boy and then walked over and aimed the gun at Tara’s head from a distance of 12 to 15 inches, court documents say. Abghari told investigators that he pulled the trigger, but “It wasn’t supposed to fire. It was empty.”

Immediately after Tara was shot between the eyes, Abghari called 911. The boy who brought the gun picked it up and fled the residence, Madsen wrote.

Sgt. Joe Peterson said Monday that the boys and Abghari originally said Tara was shot in a drive-by shooting. But they later changed their stories.

Abghari gave investigators a videotaped “admission of guilt,” Madsen wrote.

Lorein Rader said she was called at 12:15 a.m. Monday by the chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center. She arrived at the hospital 10 minutes later.

She learned from a police officer what had happened to her daughter, who ran away about a month ago.

“I’ve been pacing and wondering where she was,” Rader said.

Tara came home two or three days before the shooting. Rader asked where she had been. “She has been hit-and-miss on school,” she said.

Tara got into trouble at school and was suspended, Rader said.

“That makes zero sense to me. They let them run loose,” she said. “That’s how this got started.”

Rader doesn’t know how long Tara had been dating Abghari, but she wants police to charge him with statutory rape.

Peterson said the investigation is continuing.

“I always felt sorry for those other mothers,” Rader said. “Now I’m one of them. It’s terrible.”

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