An 18-year-old college student who's the victim of a gang-related shooting in Columbia is talking to the public.

And a state lawmaker is seeking a tougher response to such crimes.

Martha Childress, a USC student paralyzed by a stray bullet fired in Five Points, spoke in public for the first time on WYFF-TV in Greenville.

She says it's not worth it to be angry.

Some people don't survive this...and I survived. And I feel lucky. I'm lucky to be alive and I'm...I'm happy to be here,” Childress said.

But a state lawmaker who represents her is plenty angry.

Greenville County Representative Phyllis Henderson pre-filed a bill for the upcoming session of the General Assembly to toughen laws regarding gang prosecution.

It just really made me angry because not only was she hurt but a few months earlier than that, this young mother, Kelly Honeywell...back in July... was shot and killed while she was working at a bakery down there at Five Points.”

Henderson says she's worried for her own daughter, who is a USC student in Columbia.

The Shepherd Center in Atlanta says Childress has made great progress in their spinal cord rehabilitation program and she's expected to return home to Simpsonville before Christmas.