The wave of mass shootings plaguing the U.S. in recent months has claimed many victims and injured many others, including a 17-month-old girl. Anderson Davis was in her car seat next to her twin brother when she was shot in the face on Saturday as her parents drove outside the Twin Peaks restaurant on Highway 191, according to Buzzfeed. The tot was just one of those wounded when a gunman hijacked a mail truck and opened fire at random people before being shot by police. Thankfully, the child survived but sustained horrific injuries.
Family friend Haylee Wilkerson spoke to the online media outlet, telling Buzzfeed News, "She has a hole in her bottom lip, a hole in her tongue, and her top and bottom teeth were knocked out." Doctors operated on the toddler to remove shrapnel lodged in her chest. Despite her ordeal, Anderson has remained bright, happy, and content, "playing and running around like nothing ever happened."
According to eyewitnesses, the scene directly after the shooting was harrowing. A 20-year-old man said that Anderson was conscious, but "covered in blood."
Staffers at the Twin Peak restaurant rushed to the aid of the family as they waited for medical assistance. Thankfully, Anderson is expected to make a full recovery. Her brother, mom, and dad, were uninjured.
Wilkerson set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of medical expenses, with donations already totaling over $110,000. Anderson's mother, Kelby Davis, said in a text read by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott during a press conference, "Thank you all for praying. This is all of our worst nightmare. But thank God she is alive and relatively well."
She also expressed empathy for the alleged shooter's parents.
“I sat in a hospital room holding my baby last night, thinking about how the shooter was once a baby laying innocently in his mother’s arms and that mother may be mourning the loss her baby and the life she imagined for him,” Davis said. “I pray that our community will continue to do what it does best and that is be a community. A community of support, prayer, donation, love and laughter.”
The gunman claimed the lives of 7 people last Saturday. This latest tragic event comes just weeks after the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, the El Paso shooting, and the Dayton shooting. Among the victims in Gilroy were 13-year-old Keyla Salazar and 6-year-old Stephen Romero.
In El Paso, two young parents died while shielding their newborn child when an assailant opened fire on back to school shoppers in a Walmart store. The battle for gun reform rages on, with campaigners more determined than ever.