TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – The family of a teenager first presumed dead after being shot during the rampage in and around Kalamazoo is breaking their silence.
In a statement sent to 24 Hour News 8, the parents of the 14-year-old girl wounded outside the Texas Township Cracker Barrel Saturday thanked the community for its support.
The girl’s parents also asked the community and media to respect her privacy while she continues to fight for her life. The family said her prognosis is uncertain.
The Kalamazoo County prosecutor told 24 Hour News 8 Monday afternoon that the teenager was out of surgery but in “very critical” condition.
She joined four women for dinner at the Cracker Barrel, then went to see a show at Miller Auditorium. The group had returned to the restaurant to pick up a car when they were shot while sitting in their vehicles just before 10:30 p.m.
All four women, 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye of Battle Creek, her 62-year-old sister-in-law Mary Lou Nye of Baroda, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne of Battle Creek and 74-year-old Dorothy Brown of Battle Creek were killed.
Rich Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler were shot and killed at a Kalamazoo vehicle dealership about 15 minutes before the Cracker Barrel shooting. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told 24 Hour News 8 Monday Tyler’s girlfriend hid from the gunman and survived.
The shootings started around 5:45 p.m. Saturday when Tiana Carruthers was shot several times outside Meadows Townhomes. The Kalamazoo County prosecutor said Monday she is recovering.
St. Augustine Cathedral held a mass to pray for the victims early Monday afternoon. The Battle Creek Community Foundation also set up a Help Now fund to support the community as it grieves.
The shooting suspect, 45-year-old Jason Dalton of the Kalamazoo area, was expected to be formally charged in the case later in the day.