Child of Factory Shooting Victim Ready to Help Others | Local news


December 6 marked the 20th anniversary of the shooting at the Nu-Wood Decorative Millwork factory in Goshen that killed factory manager Greg Oswald and left his children, including Megan Doucette, devastated.

Although Doucette is still healing from this tragedy and other events in her life, she is ready to share with others how working with horses has helped her. She wants to create a non-profit organization to achieve this.

Doucette was 9 when her father was killed by Robert Wissman, a factory worker. Wissman was sent home that morning after having an argument with a colleague. Oswald was worried that Wissman would come back and do some harm, so he called Goshen’s police. While police at the time acknowledged receipt of the call, there was reportedly no record of it.

Wissman returned at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon with a shotgun, killing Oswald and injuring six others before committing suicide – all before the police entered the building.

Doucette said she did not learn until the next day that her father had been killed. She was coming home from school and the news had fallen. She explained that her mom and stepmom went to the Nu-Wood site.

“We just sat in front of the TV waiting until it was time to go to bed,” she recalls. “I remember thinking how likely I was to go to the hospital the next day to see my father because he was injured. I never even thought about the possibility that he was dead.

His brother was 11 years old, his half-brother 7 years old and his half-brother 2 years old at the time. Doucette admitted that she resented the police and dispatchers for quite a while.


At the time of the murder, the family owned a few horses.

Doucette said, “I just got into the horses. I stopped hanging out with my friends. For me, being with horses has always been a place where I could breathe and feel completely myself and not be interrupted by the world. I mainly used it as my own place of peace – to get away from home and away from reality.

Unfortunately, several months after the death of his father, they had to give up the horses. Years of hardship followed. Doucette said her mother had tried therapy, but conventional therapy had not worked for her. She didn’t like the therapist either.

“In high school, I was assaulted twice by two different men,” she said. “I haven’t told anyone about it. I didn’t realize the impact it had on my life until this year.

She added: “I was very angry for a very long time and I acted, I got in trouble. I was a troubled teenager.

It was only when she entered university and joined the equestrian teams “that I got back to where I wanted to be”.

She began her studies at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne, then moved on to Indiana University in South Bend. She integrates the equestrian teams and does a lot of training and grooming of the horses.

“I was competing for the IUSB and I noticed, for me, that horses weren’t just fun, they weren’t just a passion,” said Doucette. “For me, they were a place to unwind, relax and breathe.”

Although she does not currently own any horses, she does have the opportunity to work with, ride and groom them. When training a horse, a person should focus on the horse, Doucette pointed out.

“If you are having a bad day, the horse may not react as well if you are angry,” she said.

Horses have the ability to understand 35 human facial expressions and can read people’s body language, she said.

“Horses, being a fight or flight animal, if you are angry or overly energetic with training, it will force them to stop, run or fight you,” she said. declared.

Doucette said she had “had some good yelling around the horses – their silent assurances telling her that everything will be fine.”

Being around horses also helps her feel connected to her father.

“When we were all living together as a family and had our four horses, we would go camping and go horseback riding on the trails,” she said. “The last house he bought, the plan was to build a barn and have horses again. It was our dream.

Doucette holds a degree in biology with a specialization in conservation, ecology and animal behavior with a minor in psychology. She has researched animal behavior and animal assisted therapy. She is also taking a life coaching course and wishes to integrate equestrian therapy into a life coaching practice.


Doucette’s plan is to start a non-profit organization and use rescue horses to show people how horses have helped her and how they could help them as well.

“The goal is to save two horses to start with, train them and incorporate them into my practice,” she said.

In the long term, she wants to continue to save horses and associate them with veterans or first responders. Her primary focus is on people with post-traumatic stress disorder – something she has – as well as those with anxiety or depression.

She wants to have a program that “will give others the tools to be more mindful of the healing journey and to focus on personal growth.”

“My whole journey to where I am now has led me to a focused way of functioning and healing,” said Doucette. “I want to offer another tool for people to use – another option. My goal for this is to share I have been through a lot and it has not been easy. I hope that sharing my story will give others hope and I want to provide a place where others can heal.

Besides the 20th anniversary, the recent Oxford High School shooting in Michigan was also a trigger for her. These events also pushed her to go ahead and launch her project.

She said if she could raise $ 30,000, she would buy land locally for the horses and her program. She also has a few places available where she can start the program without having to buy land. Funds raised will be used for attorney fees, non-profit filing of documents, costs for saddles, bridles and training equipment, etc.

Even if people have no experience with horses or are nervous, it can help.

“I’m not a miracle worker, but I want to work with anyone,” said Doucette. “If they are ready to learn, I am ready to help them. “

“I always wanted to make the point that I had a difficult start, especially after losing my father, but just because something is happening, it’s not the end of the world,” he said. she declared. “You can work on tough stuff and be whoever you want to stay. “

Doucette is determined to find a way to make it happen in order to honor her father and provide people with a place of healing that was not given to her because there were no resources.

But, she said, she had a support system, adding, “Now it’s my turn to give back.”


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