DALLAS » A 37-year-old Texas woman threw herself over her four sons when a gunman opened fire on a downtown Dallas protest march, leaving her with a shattered leg and one of the boys spattered in blood, her family said today.
Shetamia Taylor generally shied away from marches and rallies, but she took her sons — ages 12, 13, 15 and 17 — to the protest because she was “fed up” after two black men were fatally shot by police, her family said.
Then someone opened fire.
“She jumped on top of them to cover them when the bullets started flying everywhere,” her sister Theresa Williams told The Associated Press outside of Baylor Medical Center, where Taylor, who is black, was recuperating from an early-morning surgery on her shattered right tibia.
Taylor’s 15-year-old son, Andrew, was spattered with her blood, Williams said, and after Taylor fell from the impact of the shot, he ran to her and cradled her neck.
“She’s got four boys who she just wants to be able to be peacefully out here in the world,” Williams said.
Andrew and 13-year-old Jauan went to the hospital with Taylor on Thursday, but 12-year-old Jamar and 17-year-old Kavion were separated from their family amid the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, and fled to a downtown hotel to take cover. They were stuck behind a police barricade until around 4 a.m., when their father was able to pick them up, Williams said.
The gunfire left five Dallas officers dead and seven injured, along with Taylor and another civilian. Authorities have said that 25-year-old Micah Johnson, a black man who lived in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, acted alone in the shootings. He was killed by police after a standoff.
Sherie Williams, Taylor’s other sister, could hardly believe it when she heard late Thursday that her sister, an Amazon employee, had been shot, a little more than a year since her 26-year-old son, Kavaarian Williams, was shot in a drive-by in downtown Minneapolis, where the sisters grew up.
Her four adult children “can’t sleep because of what’s going on,” and worry about their own children, she said.
“They can’t take them to the park because they’re not sure who’s going to be shooting,” Sherie Williams said.