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Niecy Nash may be an accomplished actress who’s been nominated for numerous awards, but before she became a celebrity, she experienced multiple traumatic events in her childhood, like the devastating day when her mother was shot by a former boyfriend who then set fire to their home.
Nash, 49, spoke about the violent incident during an appearance on TVOne’s “Uncensored,” in an episode that is slated to run on Sunday. The “Claws” star said she remembers watching her mother and the man who would go on to shoot her fighting in the doorway of their kitchen. He then let her mother’s arms go and turned to look at Nash; everything “went in slow motion,” she explained, and her mother turned to her and screamed at her to run out of the house.
“[My mother] turned and she started running towards the back door. He was standing next to a table that had a bench on it, and there was laundry on the bench. He knocked the laundry off the bench, picked up a sawed off, double barrel shot gun, clicked it, raised it up … My mother’s hand is on the back door. She opens it. By the time she touches the screen — boom. He blew her out the back door.”
After that, Nash explained, her brother ran after their mother and the man ran after him; meanwhile, Nash and another little girl, the man’s daughter, fled to a bedroom to hide. When the two girls heard the yelling that was going on outside, they tried to flee the house entirely, but Nash’s hands were shaking so badly that she was unable to unlock the door before the man returned to the house, she recalled. The two girls then fled back to a bedroom to hide once again, but he soon found them.
“I heard him say, ‘I did something I didn’t wanna do. I shot Margaret,’” Nash said, referring to her mother, Margaret Ensley. “He said, ‘God forgive me.’”
That was followed by another boom, she explained. The man had shot himself in the stomach. However, unbelievably, the situation worsened from there, as Nash heard the man drag himself across the floor, as her mother shouted for help from the backyard.
“I was under that bed and I was shaking. I have never been more scared in my life,” she recalled.
The man then set fire to the house, first using a gas can to drench Nash’s mother’s room before setting it alight, with Nash still hidden inside, she explained. However, she explained that, after “something went through [her],” she was struck with the realization that she had to run, and so she did.
Nash’s mother survived the traumatic event.
Nash, born Carol Denise Ensley, previously opened up about the experience in 2010.
“When I was 15 and saw my mother get shot, her boyfriend who shot her, was hiding in the house,” she said, according to ABC 7. “After he shot my mom, he set the house on fire with me inside.”
She added later, “So I’m definitely a survivor.”
Nash’s life has been marred by other tragedies. Several years after surviving the incident with her mother's boyfriend, her brother was shot to death, three months before he would have graduated from high school, the outlet reports.
Following his death in 1993, Nash’s mother founded Mothers Against Violence in Schools (M.A.V.I.S.), an organization that Nash is now a spokesperson for.
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