Transcript for Survivors discuss aftermath of Kalamazoo shootings: Part 10
let it shine ??? People were heartbroken. And you feel helpless, they felt helpless. So what they could do was mobilize as a community. One of the survivors, a 14-year-old girl. Abigail Kopf, still days after the shooting, there was very little hope that she was gonna survive. She had a plate put into her head because her skull was blown apart. There were so many ups and downs in her recovery. But then, here's this little girl. Can you wave? Doing rehabilitation at the Mary free bed hospital. And we see her lying in her hospital bed with that smile. And then, seeing the images of her learning to walk again. Good job. Good. She was shot in the head, and this little girl refused to give up. I almost died. And my mom was a basket case. She sat on my bed the whole eight days, five days, however long I was in a coma. Every minute. She just for me to wake up. Did she smile when she saw you open your eyes again? Was it a happy moment? I remember her crying with happy tears. Areou crying? Yes, I am. And then a couple weeks later, I said, "What happened to me?" And the doctor said don't sugarcoat it. And she walked in and said, "Honey, you were shot in the head." And I went like this and touched it and she said, "Don't touch it." The bullet shattered my skull. She cried. And she didn't say anything at that point. And then a couple hours later she'd ask me again, what happened to me? 'Cause she couldn't remember it. Reporter: Did you have to go through the same reaction of her, absorbing it and crying? Yeah, each time. Reporter: Are your memories from before the shooting foggy? Yes, especially my past. Like when I was younger. It's long gone. I asked about grandma barb. When I found out she was shot, I almost lost it. I did lose it. Reporter: What's your last memory of being with barb? Her hugs. She had the best hugs and the best laugh. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here. I miss her unconditionally. Every single day. Reporter: Have you watched any of the news with -- seen Jason Dalton? Yes. Every time I see him I flip him off. I can't stand him. Sometimes I'd like to trade placm. To where he could have the gunshot wound, and I could be Normal. But not in jail. The first time I was going to court, I wasn't ready. It was an early hearing. All the emotions were still very raw to everyone. From the moment he sat down, and I was just a few feet from him at the time, you could tell there was something not right about him. Ms. Carruthers was afraid. She was going to walk into a courtroom and face a man who had shot 15 rounds at her, who had changed her life forever. May it please the court, the people would call Tiana Carruthers. I tried to prepare my and I was telling myself, "You can do this." You know, "You have to do it." I was the only one who really talked to this man, and if I was do what I needed to do. And I was like, "He has no control," but he had the control at that time. And then what happened? I seen him coming. And I -- I saw -- In cars. No. They gave bags -- these old people, they had these old black bags that are called -- they're black. They have black bags. And people drive around and you look at 'em. It gets real like, "It's time." And people look and then that's when to tell people it's time to get to temple. Mr. Dalton, you need to listen to your attorney, right? Yeah, you need to get to temple 'cause you need to get going, because it's called intimidator bags. You need to be quiet in today's proceedings, okay? Yeah. So, Ms. Carruthers, are you okay? Or do we need to take a minute? Take it, take take it. Take it. It just took me back to the playground, took me right back there to that moment and I just broke down. It became obvious that he was at the very least trying to emotionally terrorize a witness, and very properly and very quickly, the deputies removed him from the courtroom. He was talking about some obscure things, like black plastic bags and the old people. Yeah. It seemed sort of these ramblings of a madman. It seems awfully convenient, right? If you put him in a situation where now he can say some nonsense that doesn't make any sense and that'll support this idea that something is going on. So, he exploited the moment. I think so. I agree. For someone to have lived a completely Normal life for 40-plus years and then in one day do everything that is counter to wsane people do, how is that not madness? Whether or not it's an act of madness or the act of a sane person is different from the legal standard of what makes you criminally responsible for your actions. The fact that he changed cars, the fact that he changed guns, the fact that he put on a bulletproof vest -- that shows that he knew what he was doing. That shows that he knew that his actions were wrong. There is no other way of defending this case, other than for him to make up some story about mental illness. He has zero history of mental illness. This isn't how mental illness works, that you have a sudden onset where at 5:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, February 20th, you become overwhelmingly mentally ill and unable to control your actions. And then it turns off at midnight and you surrender to the police and it never happens again. That's not how this works. As the trial date drew nearer, there was anxiousness. Is justice, you know, going to be served? Then the prosecutors get a call that no one was expecting, Needles.
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