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Sheryl Lee Ralph Etienne Maurice shot hospital mugged AARP

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph is eternally grateful for her children and role as a mother.

The veteran actress reflected on the life-changing day her son Etienne almost lost his life in the August/September 2023 issue of AARP Magazine. The 66-year-old mother of two said she “collapsed and dropped the phone” when she learned her son was involved in a horrific mugging in 2013.

“When Etienne was in college, he had a car accident and suffered a concussion. It changed his whole brain,” Ralph shared. “Then he got mugged, and they shot him three times. He woke up in the hospital with two bullets in his leg and a wound in his forehead where a bullet had grazed him.”

“I didn’t even listen to the rest. But they didn’t kill him, thank God,” the award-winning performer stated. “Now he runs his own production company and nonprofit, WalkGoodLA, which is centered around healing, mental health and overall well-being.”

The original Dreamgirls performer shares son Etienne, 31, and daughter Ivy-Victoria ( aka “Coco”), 28, with her ex-husband Eric Maurice.

While she spoke about motherhood, Ralph lovingly referred to her children as her “greatest gift.”

The actress said she envisioned her children “clearly” after she married Eric in 1990. “[I] knew I was going to be somebody’s mother,” she added.

“If I had a regret in life, it would be that I didn’t have more children. But I have two beautiful children,” Ralph emphasized in her chat with AARP.

In 2015, Etienne posted a lengthy Instagram post that reflected on the day his life changed forever.

The filmmaker posted graphic photos from his time in the hospital. His recollection noted that in a matter of a few hours, his fun night out resulted in him waking up at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and asking, “What the fuck happened?”

“The nurse told me as calmly as she could that I was shot twice in my leg deeeep in West Philly. At this point I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone. SHOT? HOW? WHY ME?! Who would want to shoot me?”

“Fast forward to today, I am two years sober, full of life, and ready to take on the world one day at a time. I still have nerve damage in my leg and will probably have it for a long time. Regardless, I’m happy to have my leg and able to run on it. I’m reminded every day that without God’s grace I would not have made it to see 22, and yet would have joined the staggering high percentage of young black men losing their lives to gun violence everyday. I’m alive!”

Etienne shared that he’s forgiven the father and son that violently mugged him.

“My mother might not, but I do. Yes, what they did was wrong, but Luke 23:34 says ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Amen.”

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