Shetamia Taylor describes how she survived the Dallas police shooting. Screenshot: ABC News
The Dallas-area mom who was wounded by a sniper’s bullet in last week’s horrific attacks on police at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally offered a tearful account of her experiences yesterday and a heartfelt thank you to police, five of whom lost their lives in the attack. Another seven were wounded.
A very emotional Shetamia Taylor, who had brought her four sons raging in ages from 12 to 17 with her to the rally, said that as the rally was ending she heard two gunshots and saw a police officer fall to the ground.
At a press conference Sunday, Taylor described the mayhem as shots rang out.
“I was running behind them and I felt the bullet in the back of my leg,” she said, pausing to gather her emotions. “My son went to grab me but I was already shot so I grabbed him and lay on top of him. Police asked was anybody hit, because he didn’t know I was shot. I said yes, but not loud enough because I didn’t want my son to hear. The officer got on top of me and covered me and my son. Another cop [was] at my feet and another [stood] by us and they protected us. I saw another officer get shot in front of me.”
Taylor said she’d brought her sons to the rally because she felt the need to protest the shooting deaths by police of two black men, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, but that she’s always had an admiration of law enforcement. She also mentioned that most of the police officers who shielded her family during the attack were white.
“I’m thankful for the police because they had no regard for their life and protected us,” she said of those officers. She also addressed the police directly at the press conference, saying, “Thank you for being heroes.”
Taylor was in tears several times throughout the press conference, and described an especially poignant moment when she was in the hospital. Having just been told that all of her sons were safe, Taylor was rejoicing to herself—but at that same moment she heard one police officer tell another that one of their friends and colleagues had died.
“I saw an officer tell another officer that an officer didn’t make it, and I [was] celebrating my kids,” she said. Here she stopped and openly wept, then continued,”[celebrating] my kids being alive.”
“It hurt,” she added, speaking about the news of the officer’s death.
She also held back tears as she talked about the actions of the shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, who was killed after a standoff with police.
“Why would he do that?” she asked.
It’s a question that days later, so many of us are still asking.
You can view the heart-wreching video of Ms. Taylor’s press conference at ABC News.
My continued prayers are with the people of Dallas, the officer’s families, the Sterling family, the Castile family, and our nation as we heal and move forward. Join me in praying for racial justice and racial unity!