A 14-year-old girl who was shot during a deadly shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan, over the weekend is now "fighting for her life."
Abigail Kopf -- one of eight people shot in a series of three shootings that killed six -- was critically injured in the attack and her heart stopped during the ongoing attempts to sustain her life, Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies, the medical director at Bronson Children’s Hospital, said in a statement today. The teen was the sole survivor of the shooting in the Kalamazoo Cracker Barrel parking lot that killed four.
Lane-Davies clarified reports that Abigail was declared brain dead at the hospital.
"Following restoration of her heartbeat, our team shared with her parents the grave nature of her life-threatening injuries," Lane-Davies said in the statement. "Due to both the nature of her injuries and efforts required to sustain her life, our team discussed the possibility that she could become brain dead."
Gift of Life, an organ and tissue donor organization, was contacted with the permission of Abigail's parents, but Abigail was never declared medically brain dead, according to the doctor.
For now, Abigail remains on a ventilator and is critically ill, Lane-Davies said.
"Abigail, her parents and our team continue to fight hard for her life," Lane-Davies said. "In spite of the seriousness of her injuries, we are encouraged by the relative stability over the last few days and her responsiveness to her parents and our team."
The night of the shooting, Abigail was with "her beautiful, free-spirited grandma Barb" to watch a performance, Abigail's parents, Vicki and Gene Kopf, said in a statement today. They returned to the Cracker Barrel to pick up their cars when "tragedy struck."
Abigail -- described by her parents as athletic and a lover of animals, theater and musicals -- has "a long road ahead," her parents said.
"She remains in critical condition fighting for her life, but as we mentioned, she is strong-willed and she is fighting," her parents said.
While Abigail survived the Cracker Barrel shooting, four women there were killed: Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda; Mary Jo Nye, 60, of Battle Creek; Dorothy Brown, 74, of Battle Creek; and Barbara Hawthorne, 68, of Battle Creek.
The Kopfs said they "are devastated by the loss of Grandma Barb and her wonderful friends," adding that "Barb was a special part of our lives."
The Kopfs' statement also acknowledged the family of the suspected shooter, Jason Dalton.
"Our thoughts are with the Dalton family who also are suffering at this time," the Kopfs said. "We want his family to know we don’t hold anything against the family members."
Following the three separate shootings on Saturday, Dalton was arrested early Sunday and charged with six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight counts of using a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to Kalamazoo County prosecuting attorney Jeff Getting. He has not yet entered a plea.
The Dalton family said in a statement Monday: "This type of violence has no place in our society, and we express our love and support for everyone involved. We intend to cooperate in every way that we can to help determine why and how this occurred."