Thelma Causey walked out of the hospital Monday night, several hours after a ricocheting bullet struck her leg, without so much as a Tylenol from the doctors.

She rode home in her own car, too, because she was afraid she would get charged for another ambulance ride.

She stayed home Tuesday from her job checking in students at the West Philadelphia High School cafeteria, but she plans to go to work Wednesday "if my daughter don't raise too much Cain."

"Miss Thelma" is 86 years old, and being hit by a stray bullet doesn't appear to have slowed her one bit.

Causey, watching television Monday night in her Kingsessing home, went outside for some fresh air during a commercial around 9:30 p.m. She saw a young man running across the street, but she never saw the gunman firing at him.

"I heard, 'Pow!,' and I felt this sting," she said. "Then I felt all this stuff running down my leg, which was blood."

She walked back inside her house and her daughter, who lives with her, came running down the stairs.

"I said, 'I think I've been shot,' " Causey recalled.

She never lost consciousness, despite the blood that covered her front porch and left splotches on her living room carpet.

"I don't think that's coming out," she lamented over the stains.

Detectives said they knew little about the circumstances of the shooting. Witnesses described a young man, between the ages of 18 and 25, being chased by a second young man, presumably the gunman, said Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detective Division.

Investigators recovered three shell casings from the scene, at 51st Street and Springfield Avenue in Kingsessing. Causey, who lives near that corner, likely was hit by a ricocheting fragment, said Walker, who called her "extremely lucky."

Causey, a former tailor and dressmaker, has lived in her home for 46 years, raising two children there. She now has six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She said she is one of the last homeowners of her generation on the block.

"Ordinarily, I'd say this is a nice neighborhood. After 9, 9:30 p.m., you don't see kids on this block," she said. "I've always felt safe and secure."

Residents planned to hold a vigil Tuesday night in response to the shooting, she said.

Far from shaken, Causey seemed emboldened by the number of phone calls and visitors checking on her.

"People I hadn't heard from in years, I've been hearing from," she said.

For one visitor, she demonstrated where the bullet fragment had entered the back of her left leg. That's also the side where she had a hip replacement in January, she said.

"They say there's a piece of shrapnel in there," she said.

Her grandson's girlfriend had stopped, and Causey moved briskly up the stairs to retrieve something for her.

"Miss Thelma, I can't believe how you're getting around with a bullet wound," the woman said.

"I come from good stock," Causey said. "God is good."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Southwest detectives at 215-686-3183 or to call 215-686-8477 (TIPS).