Youngest shooting survivor released from hospital, parents speak out
The youngest person hit in the mass shooting rampage Saturday was a 17-month-old girl. Just hours after the toddler was released from the hospital, the young girl's parents sat down with CBS7 to recount the horrifying moments, but also to share their gratitude.
“Probably the number one thing people will tell you, is that she’s smiley and happy," Kelby Davis said describing her young daughter Anderson.
At almost a year-and-half-old, hopefully Anderson will have no lasting memories of the Saturday shooting rampage.
“It really happened so fast," Garret Davis, Anderson's father, explained. "I didn’t know what direction [the bullets] were coming from or what was really going on.”
“I knew we had been shot, but it never dawned on me that one of us would be hit," Kelby recalled. "I actually just thought how can I cover both of these babies at one time.”
Anderson and her twin brother were strapped into their car seats for a normal trip to the grocery store when one gunshot hit their SUV from the rear. The family was stopped at the traffic light at 42nd Street and JBS Parkway.
“I looked at Anderson, she was just covered in blood, so much blood you couldn’t even see her face," Kelby explained.
Anderson was hit in the mouth, with shrapnel also hitting her in the chest.
As Kelby and Garret were screaming for help and trying to call 911, off-duty paramedics rushed in.
“Angels are everywhere," Kelby explained. "Some men were at my window and they’re saying: Kelby it’s me, Kelby it’s me.”
The family had serendipitously met those first responders who sprung to action on a recent trip to an Odessa fire station.
“Paramedics and all the first responders, their training is just absolutely amazing and they are truly the calm in the midst of the storm," Garret explained.
Quickly Anderson was air-flighted to a Lubbock hospital for emergency treatment.
24 hours later she was released and is back home in Odessa now.
“I’m grateful Anderson is here," Kelby said with tears in her eyes. "I’m so thankful that we’re not one of those families that’s on the other side of this. And it makes you feel guilty almost. But that’s why I just have to remind myself: God does not cause tragedies like this, but God is going to walk with all of us through this all."
It's that strong Christian faith, along with the Davis's love for their hometown of Odessa, that’s helping to carry them through.
“That’s why we’re proud of the people here, because they rally and they come together," Kelby said. "Bad things are going to happen no matter where you live. But we know that here, this is our home and this is where our support system is, and it’s made all the difference in this situation.”
GoFundMe has put together
of campaigns that have been created to help the victims, including one that's been set up for 17-month-old Anderson.