Tiana Carruthers was the first person shot by suspect Timothy Dalton, police said. At around 5:30 p.m., he pulled up to a playground off East G Avenue in Richland Township outside Kalamazoo. Carruthers, 25, was with her young daughter, a niece, and three other chidlren.
Dalton motioned her to come over to him and she did so. He then asked if she knew a woman named “Mazy,” then calmly pulled a gun from his coat and shot her once near her shoulder, her grandmother Pheonix Windwalker told the Detroit Free Press.
Carruthers turned, screamed for the children to run, and blocked Dalton from shooting them with her body.
He shot her at least two more times, in the hip and leg area, before speeding off. Police said they later recovered 10 spent shell casings at the scene.
“The children were saved,” Windwalker said. “Her 7-year-old daughter saw her get shot, along with her niece and the three other children. She saved the children by doing what she did, which was really courageous for her and I’m proud of her, but I feel so, so sorry for her. It’s just not fair.”
Carruthers has survived and is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing two surgeries, including the insertion of rods in both of her legs. It may be as long as eight months before she’ll be able to walk again.
Not only did Carruthers save the children, she provided police with a description of Dalton that led to his arrest.
At the scene, she was able to give deputies a description of the man who shot her, describing him as an older, heavy-set white male with brown and graying hair, reported MLive.
Carruthers was also able to describe the vehicle.
And later she was shown a police lineup and picked Dalton out as the man who shot her.