Arizona woman shares domestic violence experience after ex-husband hired hitman to kill her

Heather Grossman shares her story more than 25 years after she was shot, died, and brought back to life.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 8:07 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Valley woman is opening up about the day she was nearly murdered by a hitman hired by her ex-husband. She’s sharing her experience to help others and shine a light on an otherwise dark topic.

“My doctors gave me seven years,” said Heather Grossman, as she shared her story more than 25 years after she was shot, died, and brought back to life. Now paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator, she says she has a new appreciation for life. “I am that mother that, thank goodness, did not die at the scene of the crime,” she said.

Grossman lived in Florida when she met a man named Ron Samuels, who quickly swept her off her feet. After getting married, she says things began to change. “Ron held a gun up to my head and he told me if you leave me, you are going to pay,” Grossman said.

Feeling like she had nothing to lose, she left to live with her parents and even got an order of protection against Samuels, hoping to leave him and that life behind. Despite that, Grossman shares that Samuels’ threats ultimately became a reality. “Always know anyone can get a gun if they want to kill you, they can get a knife if they want to harm you so be vigilant, watch behind your back,” she said.

Grossman was with her new husband when a hitman hired by Samuels ambushed them. “We went out to lunch, John and I, and they followed us from his office, they shot me first then the driver drove around and the shooter went in and shot john in the chin,” Grossman said.

A paramedic who had been nearby and only on the job for six months brought her back to life. Samuels is serving a life prison sentence plus 120 years after being convicted in 2006 on conspiracy and attempted first-degree murder charges.

Unfortunately, she says, after the attack, and after she became a quadriplegic, her second husband also allegedly became physically abusive. “It happens everyday, all across the country, and all across the world,” Grossman said. “It’s a situation where you have to decide to take control of your life, you have to make that decision and then you have to change things.”

Grossman says it takes about $9,600 a month to have at-home care 24/7, something she says she greatly needs with a ventilator providing her oxygen. As she continues to travel across the state, sharing her story of survival with other domestic violence survivors, she hopes people can donate to her GoFundMe fundraiser.

If you, or someone you love, needs help, the Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Helpline is 602-279-2980.