The parents of a 17-month-old girl who was wounded during Saturday’s mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, are speaking out about the attack and their child’s health status.
In a public post on Facebook, Kelby Davis wrote Sunday that her daughter Anderson Davis is expected to make a full recovery after she was hit with a bullet fragment during a citywide shooting spree that left at least seven dead and 22 injured.
“Words cannot express the emotions we are experiencing after living through the tragic events that unfolded in our home town yesterday afternoon,” Kelby Davis wrote in her statement, a copy of which the family also sent to CNN. “Our hearts are extremely heavy today. Many good, innocent, people lost their lives and were injured yesterday.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said at a press conference Sunday that Davis texted him saying, “Thank you all for praying. This is all of our worst nightmare, but thank God she’s alive and relatively well.”
Davis said Anderson’s “mouth is pretty bad,” but that it doesn’t seem like her jaw was affected. Abbott, reading from the text, said Anderson will undergo surgery on Monday to remove shrapnel from her chest and to fix her bottom lip and mouth.
As part of her text to the governor, Davis said: “Toddlers are funny, because they can get shot but still want to run around and play.”
In her Facebook post ― also signed by Anderson’s father Garret Davis ― Kelby Davis thanked the first responders, physicians and medical staff who have “treated [Anderson] as their own and as parents we couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
“We praise God for walking beside us during this time and our prayers go out to all of the families that are walking this same walk,” Davis wrote in her Facebook post. “We hurt so badly for the families whose loved ones didn’t survive this tragedy. We are thankful for our beautiful baby girl and look forward to reuniting her at home with her twin brother soon.”
Police believe the 36-year-old shooting suspect acted alone when he led police on a chase across the city while firing at people in several areas with an AR-style weapon. Law enforcement shot and killed him in the parking lot of a movie theater in Odessa.
Odessa’s police chief refused to name the 36-year-old shooting suspect at the same Sunday conference Abbott appeared at, saying he’s “not gonna give him any notoriety for what he did.”
The 17-month-old’s story inspired many people, including actress and activist Alyssa Milano, to donate to a GoFundMe to help the baby’s family. The fundraiser’s creator, Haylee Wilkerson, says she is a friend of the family, and the GoFundMe raised more than $160,000 as of Sunday evening.