Anderson Davis sustained injuries from bullet fragments after a gunman opened fire at a traffic stop in West Texas on Saturday.
The mass shootings at El Paso and Dayton shun light on the already prevalent need for stricter gun laws in the country. And now, barely a month after this heinous act of violence emerged another shooting spree over the weekend that reemphasized urgency of this matter once again. This time around, a gunman claimed the lives of 7 people in West Texas. The devastating shooting on Saturday left 22 injured, including a 17-month-old toddler, Anderson Davis who was present at the scene.
The latest on what we know on the #TexasShooting:— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) 1 September 2019
+ The gunman worked alone
+ The shooting left 8 people dead, including the shooter
+ 22 others were injured
+ The @WSJ, citing law enforcement, has identified the shooter as 36-year-old Seth Atorhttps://t.co/rifspi6lJg
According to CNN, the baby girl was injured after fragments from a bullet hit her when the gunman open fired from a hijacked mail truck after being pulled over by police officials in Odessa just after 3 p.m. On Monday, Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis revealed how Anderson was now home, recovering from her surgery for her injuries which included shrapnel in her chest, a hole through her bottom lip, in addition to the damage to her front teeth. During a press conference that took place on Sunday, Governor Greg Abbott read a text update from the toddler's mother, Kelby that revealed how her daughter was out of harm's way despite the injuries. "Thank you all for praying. This is all of our worst nightmares, but thank God she’s alive and relatively well. Toddlers are funny because they can get shot but still want to run around and play," it read.
"Her mouth is pretty bad but will heal and can be fixed. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like her jaw was hit, just lip, teeth and tongue. She is having surgery tomorrow to remove the shrapnel from her chest," added Abbott according to PEOPLE. Furthermore, the governor revealed that Kelby had informed him of the damages to her daughter's mouth was "pretty bad," fortunately, it could be fixed. The extent of the injuries sustained by the toddler was previously verified on a GoFundMe page, created by a family friend in order to raise money for her treatment.
"Anderson is alive and that is a prayer answered bigger than I've ever had to pray. Her vitals are good. She is being flown to Lubbock while we drive. Not getting to fly with her is beyond painful. Anderson is 17 months old, has shrapnel in her right chest, which thank God is superficial. She has a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out. She is alive. When others today are not alive. I ask you to continue praying for our hearts as we experience this, pray for complete healing of Anderson, pray for every other family in our same situation, or worse, today and pray for the shooters. Pray that whatever is causing them to do this will be defeated by God and they will stop shooting," read the post that Kelby had written.
Kelby also posted an update on Facebook which read: This morning she had surgery on her face and then her chest. A wonderful pediatric ENT closed up the holes in her tongue and mouth and did what he could for her teeth. We will need to follow up later here locally for her teeth. The pediatric surgeon cut open her chest to remove the bullet fragments that he could retrieve. There is still a piece of shrapnel in her chest that isn’t retrievable at this time, but shouldn’t cause her any issues. There are some very small pieces of shrapnel in her face that aren’t worth retrieving. How we are home with our baby girl just over 24 hours after this tragedy struck is absolutely unbelievable. How resilient toddlers are is a gift that only God could provide.
During an interview with the New York Times, Junior Bejarano, a 20-year-old restaurant worker recalled the incident when first located the baby girl covered in blood. "It was chaos in a matter of seconds. People were screaming, flipping chairs, dropping plates," he explained. Following the gunshots that started at about 4:30 p.m, Bejarano and his co-workers went outside the restaurant and found bullet holes in several cars located at a nearby intersection, That's when he heard a woman screaming. Rushing towards the sound of distress, Bejarano and his team discovered an unconscious baby girl lying in a car seat whose face, shirt, and lap was covered in blood. "She was conscious, but she was just covered in blood," he recalled adding, "It was horrible to see something like that."
According to a report by Odessa Police Department, the shooting began around 3:25 after the suspect was stopped on I-20 between Midland and Odessa, on Saturday. "The driver opened fire on the trooper before fleeing westbound on the interstate, and shooting at a civilian at east Loop 338 and I-20. The suspect proceeded on a shooting spree in the City of Odessa and stole a mail carrier truck. The suspect continued shooting at innocent civilians all over Odessa before making his way to Cinergy on Highway 191. The suspect then shot an Odessa Police Department officer, along with a Midland Police Department officer," read the report. Eventually, the white male suspect in his 30s was killed by the police in a shootout, thus bringing an end to the state’s second mass shooting in August.