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Hero mom Tiana Carruthers who protected five children in a Feb. shooting spree in Kalamazoo spoke publicly for the first time on Thursday, NBC News reported.

Carruthers, who was sitting in a wheelchair admits that since the shooting that killed 6, said her recovery has ” been a long road for me,” she said during a press conference Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. “I have days where I’m crying and I’m feeling so down. It’s hard for my child to see that,” she said. 

Now home from the hospital, Carruthers told the press, “Just being 25 and being in a wheelchair, just trying to walk — I put a smile on my face every day. I’m trying to be the same person that I was, but that is entirely impossible.” Still, “it feels good to sleep in my own bed, and be around my daughter to see her beautiful smile,” she added.

According to NBC, Carruthers was watching her daughter and other kids playing in a nearby playground when alleged gunman Jason Dalton, 45, began shooting toward her direction.

Carruthers looks at her shooting as a life-changing event, “I feel like I’m a child at zero months right now,” she continued. “I’m living life like it’s my last.”

As Hello Beautiful previously reported, over a period of four hours from around 6pm to 10pm, it’s suspected that Uber driver Dalton rode throughout town and just opened fire on a Kia car dealership, a Cracker Barrel and an apartment complex. He killed four people in the restaurant parking lot alone in a matter of 15 minutes.

Carruthers’ injuries included an reconstructed arm, broken fingers, metal poles in her thighs and a “bullet lodged into my liver, yet she is trying to work to forgive him, NBC wrote. “For some reason, I do not hate him,” she said. “Sometimes I get angry with myself because I don’t, and I don’t know if anyone could ever understand that.”

Carruthers was one of two survivors. According to NBC, 14-year-old Abigail Kopf, who was shot in the head in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, is still recovering in a Michigan hospital. 


Hero Mom Risks Her Life To Save Children From Being Shot By The Kalamazoo Killer

What Gun Problem? Man Goes on Shooting Spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Kills Six People

Hero Mom! Kalamazoo Shooting Spree Survivor Stresses She’s ‘Living Life Like It’s My Last’  was originally published on