KALAMAZOO, MIch. (WJBK) - One of the victims of the Kalamazoo murders was shot outside her apartment but her only concern was protecting her children.
Tiana Carruthers, 25, put herself in the way of the bullets fired by 45-year-old Jason Dalton, who faces 16 charges for killing six people and injuring two in a shooting spree in Kalamazoo this past Saturday. He was spotted about 6 p.m. on the day of the shooting outside Carruthers' home.
"We heard the noise and I thought it was fireworks," said Tammy George, her next-door neighbor. "Then we heard screaming."
Dalton had driven by looking for someone named either Misty or a Mazy, George said. He then drove by a second time and began firing at least 16 rounds, she said.
Carruthers blocked her young children and took three bullets. George said as Carruthers was lying on the ground, all she cared about was her kids.
"It reminds me of a mama bear, her instinct - it was just protecting those kids, making sure those kids (were) alright," George said. "She was not thinking of herself one bit."
Carruthers was able to help police by positively identifying Dalton. As Carruthers recovers, George said she thinks about the 14-year-old girl who is still in critical condition and the other families who lost their loved ones.
"We were very lucky. She was very lucky. The kids were very lucky," she said. "I really think someone was watching out for them because others weren't so lucky."