ODESSA, Texas (KOSA/Gray News) - The youngest person hit in the mass shooting rampage Saturday was a 17-month-old girl.
Just hours after the toddler was released from the hospital, the young girl’s parents recounted the horrifying moments and also shared their gratitude, KOSA reported.
“Probably the No. 1 thing people will tell you is that she’s smiley and happy," Kelby Davis said describing her young daughter Anderson.
Because she is almost 1 1/2 years old, the hope is Anderson will have no lasting memories of the Saturday shooting rampage.
“I really happened so fast," Garret Davis, Anderson's father, explained. "I didn’t know what direction [the bullets] were coming from or what was really going on.”
“I knew we had been shot, but it never dawned on me that one of us would be hit," Kelby Davis recalled. "I actually just thought, ‘How can I cover both of these babies at one time?’”
Anderson and her twin brother were strapped into their car seats for a normal trip to the grocery store, when one gunshot hit their SUV from the rear while the family was stopped at a light.
“I looked at Anderson. She was just covered in blood, so much blood you couldn’t even see her face," Kelby Davis explained.
Anderson was shot in the face, with shrapnel also hitting her in the chest.
As Kelby and Garret Davis were screaming for help and trying to call 911, off-duty paramedics rushed in. The family had serendipitously met those first responders on a recent trip to an Odessa fire station.
“Angels are everywhere," Kelby Davis explained. "Some men were at my window and they’re saying, ‘Kelby, it’s me. Kelby, it’s me.’”
Those paramedics jumped right in to help Anderson.
“Paramedics and all the first responders, their training is just absolutely amazing, and they are truly the calm in the midst of the storm," Garret explained.
Quickly, Anderson was air-flighted to a Lubbock hospital for emergency treatment.
She’s since been released and is back home in Odessa.
“I’m grateful Anderson is here," Kelby Davis said with tears in her eyes. “I’m so thankful that we’re not one of those families that’s on the other side of this. And it makes you feel guilty almost. But that’s why I just have to remind myself: God does not cause tragedies like this, but God is going to walk with all of us through this all.”
It’s that strong Christian faith, along with the family’s love for their hometown of Odessa, that’s helping to carry them through.
“That’s why we’re proud and the people here, because they rally and they come together," Kelby Davis said. "Bad things are going to happen no matter where you live. But we know that here, this is our home and this is where our support system is, and it’s made all the difference in this situation.”
GoFundMe has put together a list of campaigns that have been created to help the victims, including one that’s been set up for 17-month-old Anderson.