Statement from Shreveport mayoral candidate Ollie Tyler: Domestic abuse is very real

The following is the full, unedited statement released by Shreveport mayoral candidate Ollie Tyler regarding rumors of the circumstances surrounding her death of her first husband in August of 1968.

Forty-seven years ago I was a victim of domestic abuse. For a year, I suffered horrific physical and mental abuse from my first estranged husband. I endured beatings after beatings which resulted in serious injuries. It was a life that involved several attempts to escape and numerous calls to the police, but to no avail.

After a year of the violence and bearing a young son, I knew it was imperative to try to escape once more. I was threatened that leaving again would cost me and my baby our lives. And it almost did. He assured me that he would always find me, beat me and bring me back - which had always been his pattern. While in hiding for the 4th or 5th time, I was hunted down once again and faced with yet another severe beating. This time, he tried to kill me with a gun. I struggled with him and was subsequently shot. As I continued to fight for my life, the gun went off again which resulted in him being shot.

The shooting was accidental. The District Attorney's investigation resulted in an accidental and justifiable homicide; therefore there were no charges filed against me.

I survived that horrible time and chose not to live my life as a victim, but instead to struggle through the sadness, devastation and pain each day and create a meaningful future for me and my child. With God's grace, I've moved forward and hoped never to have to relive the details of that dark, horrendous day.

Twenty-four years ago, I lost my second husband - truly the only husband at least in my heart. He died after a brief stint with cancer. He loved me wholly and adopted my son as his own and helped to heal us both. Life with him was wonderful and fulfilling. I'm so grateful that God allowed me the opportunity to have a second chance at the family I always wanted.

I did not want to make my personal tragedy an issue in this campaign; however, John Settle, Elliott Stonecipher and others have continually tried to paint an ugly and false picture of me, even though I was the victim. And why? I have not participated in any mudslinging, false accusations, and character assassination. AlI I wanted to do was serve you, the citizens, of Shreveport and do what I could to help make our city a great place to live.

I am grateful for your support and hope to continue to have it in the future.

Thanks for your prayers as I move forward on this journey.