Tiana Carruthers, the first victim in the Kalamazoo mass shootings, bravely tried to protect a group of kids from a gunman on Saturday evening, before being shot several times.
Carruthers, 25, was reportedly at a playground near her Richland Township apartment complex with a group of children, including her daughter, when an Uber driver approached them. The man, who was identified as Jason Dalton, asked if they had seen a girl named Mazie. Carruthers immediately sensed that something was wrong and told the kids to run toward the house.
According to Kalamazoo County Sheriff Rick Fuller, Carruthers stayed behind and the gunman opened fire. Carruthers reportedly sustained three gunshot wounds in the legs and arms, but doctors are expecting her to survive after undergoing multiple surgeries.
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Police authorities and emergency staff found the first Kalamazoo shooting victim wounded and lying near an apartment section when they arrived at the crime scene, Fuller said. The children made it to the house just as Dalton started to open fire.
Ten spent shell casings were recovered at the scene, police said. The suspect was believed to have fired at least 30 rounds as he carried out his shooting spree in three different crime scenes using a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Dalton was picking fares on the night of the shooting where he killed six people and severely injured two others, including Carruthers.
Dalton, 45, killed a man named Richard Smith and his son Tyler, 17 at around 10 p.m.
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He also fatally shot Dorothy Brown, 74; Barbara Hawthorne, 68; Mary Joe Nye, 62; and Mary Lou Nye, 60, who were at Cracker Barrel at the time. Another victim named Abigail Kopf, 14, was also shot at the restaurant and is currently in critical condition.
Family says youngest Kalamazoo shooting victim is ‘alive and she is fighting for her life’ https://t.co/Xxkm4w30Ru
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Dalton was arrested on Sunday morning after Carruthers identified him out of a lineup. He was arraigned on multiple murder charges in connection with the Kalamazoo shooting.