Girl shot in Kalamazoo opens eyes, recognizes parents

Detroit News staff and wire reports

The family of Abigail Kopf reports continued progress in the teenager’s recovery from a mass shooting that killed six other people around Kalamazoo.

A posting Wednesday morning on a GoFundMe page says the wounded 14-year-old opened her eyes and recognized her parents.

“Abbie reached another milestone! Mom and Dad reported last night: ‘She looked at us tonight. Her right eye is too swollen yet, but she managed to open her eyes and recognized us.’ Your love and incredible outpouring of support keeps us going,” the posting says.

As of lunchtime Wednesday, more than $33,000 had been raised through the GoFundMe page to help cover her medical costs.

Abigail and a second person, Tiana Carruthers, 25, were both upgraded to fair condition Tuesday. Abigail was shot Feb. 20 in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant, while Carruthers was wounded outside an apartment complex.

Altogether, four other people were fatally shot outside the restaurant: Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda, and Mary Jo Nye, 60, Dorothy “Judy” Brown, 74, and Barbara Hawthorne, 68, all of Battle Creek. Two more were killed at a car dealership: Richard Smith, 53, and his son Tyler, 17, of Mattawan.

Authorities say Carruthers sensed trouble when the gunman drove up and told children who were on a playground outside the apartment complex to run to a nearby home.

Jason Dalton, 45, faces 16 charges in connection with the shootings, including six counts of open murder. Authorities allege he unleashed the gunfire while driving for Uber the evening of Feb. 20.

Dalton is scheduled for a preliminary exam conference Thursday in Kalamazoo District Court. According to police, Dalton has acknowledged committing the shootings but has not given a reason.

The Associated Press contributed.