GREENWOOD, Ind. (WXIN) — The mother of a 12-year-old girl hit by a bullet fragment during Sunday’s deadly shooting at Indiana’s Greenwood Park Mall spoke with Nexstar’s WXIN on Monday.
Alison Dick said her three daughters were at the mall with their grandmother when the shooting happened. Her daughters relayed their experiences to her.
“Something dropped first, and then the bullets started,” said Alison. “They just reacted so fast. They did see the big gun, and they knew that portion, and then that’s when they knew to just bolt.”
The family was separated when chaos erupted.
Police say the gunman went into a restroom at 4:54 p.m. and emerged an hour and two minutes later and began shooting.
“My two girls were running in one direction, and then my mother and other daughter were at Subway getting food, and they dropped to their knees and were crawling away.”
An armed 22-year-old good Samaritan shot and killed the gunman, according to police.
Alison said she was “hysterical” when she learned of the shooting.
“Longest probably 10 minutes of my life because they were all over there at the mall,” she recounted.
Alison said a worker at the mall helped her girls by letting them in her car and loaning them her phone.
When she was reunited with her daughters, Alison noticed her 12-year-old was in pain.
“I went to go hug Bella, she kept saying, ‘My back hurts, my back hurts, no, no,’ and I pulled back, and as I pulled back you can see she had a piece of metal coming out of her back.”
Bella had a bullet fragment in her back, but didn’t know it at the time.
“All you can think of is, ‘It’s in her spine, it’s in her spine,” recalled Alison.
Thankfully, Bella is expected to be OK.
“It was superficial, so it was not lodged in any bone or anything, and they were able to remove it right away, so she should be fine,” said Alison. She will be on antibiotics for the next week but will not need stitches, just a bandage.
“We are so, so grateful, so grateful, and I feel so horrible for the people who did not get to have their family under their roof last night, and we did. We’re so lucky, so lucky,” expressed Alison.
“I know from what the chief of police told me that the shooting began and stopped really fast only because that good Samaritan had his gun on him and shot him,” said Alison. “He saved countless lives. This guy would’ve kept shooting, and there would’ve been so many people killed.”
Three people were killed in the shooting: Pedro Pineda, 56, of Indianapolis and his wife Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Victor Gomez, 30, of Indianapolis.
Alison says her family is exploring counseling for the children.
“I definitely think that is going to end up being an option for us, just as a mother just making sure they can get out what they want to,” Alison said. “They can talk to me about stuff, but they might feel more comfortable saying something to someone else.”
Alison discussed her children’s return to school.
“I’ve already talked to my girls, and they start school next week, and I’m scared for them. They have to go to school, and what if that happens there? And I guess that’s what I assumed, if they were going to go through any experience like that, I assumed it would be school-related, not mall-related. Anywhere, anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter. Nowhere is safe right now, and it’s so sad, so sad.”