One of the victims of a shootout in 2018 described the moment she knew she was wounded while lying bleeding on her neighbor’s floor.
“I could feel the warmth of my blood in my hand as I put pressure on my side,” said Ashly Bauman, now Ashly Reifert, of the night her estranged husband Joshua Bauman shot her and two others and killed one. “It was hard to breathe and I just thought I was going to die.”
Reifert said she was in her bedroom in her Clyde Township apartment with off duty Port Huron Police Commissioner Joel Wood, with whom she was dating, when they heard a bang. The two had just returned from dinner and a comedy club.
Reifert said she tried to close her bedroom door slowly but it opened and Bauman stood at the door. He shot Wood in the chest, she testified.
“I remembered the shot and the hole in his chest and the blood that came out of his chest,” she said through tears.
Reifert said there was no emotion on Bauman’s face when he pulled the trigger on that first shot.
“There was just nothing,” she said.
Reifert said she started yelling and punching Bauman in the back of the head to make him stop. When that didn’t deter him, she ran out of the apartment to find help.
She started ringing the doorbell and knocking on the neighbor’s door. She looked around and saw Bauman coming out of the apartment.
“He looked like he was looking,” said Reifert. “I had the feeling he was looking for me.”
Reifert said Bauman had a look at the parking lot and the forest. When he saw her, he ran after her, she said.
She ran to the handicap ramp in front of her neighbor Tim Fuester’s door and yelled for help.
“Josh caught up with me and raised his gun and I said ‘Josh no’ and he was still shooting me,” said Reifert.
She said she ran into Fuester’s apartment and locked the door. She saw that Fuester had a gun, but didn’t remember if he had fired it.
She finally unlocked the door so Fuester could come in and call 911.
As she lay on her neighbor’s floor, she said she was thinking of Wood. When EMS took her to McLaren Port Huron Hospital, she asked about him.
“When I was taken to McLaren Port Huron, I remember lying down. I remember being so cold, shivering and just holding the nurse’s hand for her warmth,” said Reifert. “I remember asking about Joel and if he was okay and was told he didn’t make it. I looked over at the nurse and said, will I die too?”
Bauman is accused of killing and injuring Reifert and Fuester in Clyde Township Wood on August 24, 2018.
Reifert spent a week at McLaren Macomb Hospital, where she was relocated from Port Huron.
Several doctors treating Reifert said they had three gunshot wounds: one in the right upper arm, one in the abdomen, and one in the chest.
They said a bullet stopped short of her spine and major organs.
After her release, Reifert said there was little she could do on her own. It was hard to walk, breathe, and move. She needed help cleaning her bandages and taking care of her daughter. She said she was very traumatized.
“I was afraid of him”
Reifert and Bauman were married in October 2013 and have one child. She first mentioned filing for divorce in 2017, but the couple tried to reconcile. When Reifert said the relationship was going downhill again, she filed for divorce in May 2018.
She didn’t want to involve lawyers and split custody 50/50. She said she lied about her income in the St Clair County’s Friend of Court papers so he wouldn’t have to pay child support because she knew it would spark an argument. She said she wanted to take a clean break because she didn’t want to fight him.
“I was only trying to keep the peace because I was afraid of it,” she said.
When asked by Bauman’s attorney Bill Colovos, Reifert said she had not filed an injunction or personal protection order against Bauman. She said she did not write in the divorce papers that Bauman threatened her or that she feared he would harm her.
She moved into her own apartment in June 2018. As they neared August 2018, Bauman’s behavior became increasingly aggressive.
Bauman called and texted her constantly, she said. If she tried to ignore him it would cause further problems as he wanted to know why she wasn’t answering.
She said there were a few times she felt he was following her. When she went to the beach without him, he said he was not happy that she was on the beach. As she was having lunch with Wood at Burger King, Bauman asked where she was going to have lunch and who she was with.
About a week before filming, Reifert said she went to the same comedy club with Bauman that she went to with Wood on the night of filming. She said she only did it to appease Bauman and it was his idea.
“I remember sitting in the comedy club with Josh and just wanting to be there with Joel,” she said.
After that, they went to dinner. She said she made her intentions clear that they would not get back together and that she is only going out for him to get him off her back. When she left his house later that night, he was furious.
“I even told him that I didn’t want to do anything with him, that I only did things with him to get him off my back and leave me alone,” said Reifert. “And he said he wouldn’t stop trying to fall in love with him again. “
Reifert said she bought Bauman a revolver as a self-defense weapon for Christmas 2016 because they were afraid people might break into the house.
Bauman is charged with willful first degree murder, two intentional assaults, first degree home invasion, and criminal weapons.
He has been in custody hours after the shooting since his arrest in Southfield.
Reifert was still being cross-examined on Friday when the court took a break for the weekend.
Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or [email protected]. Brian Wells contributed to this report; Contact him at (810) 357-8668 or [email protected].
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