When a lifeless 14-year-old girl shot during the Kalamazoo rampage was brought into hospital, doctors immediately thought she was dead.
Police announced the teenager was the seventh victim of the horrific shooting spree on Sunday night while hospital staff got ready to harvest her organs.
But as her mother stood next to her, for what she thought would be the last time, the youngster suddenly squeezed her hand.
The girl, who has been referred to only as A.K in court documents, was then rushed into surgery at Bronson Hospital in Michigan.
As of Monday morning, she was still fighting for her life.
She was hit by bullets allegedly fired by Jason Dalton on Saturday night while sat in a car in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel.
The other four passengers – Mary Lou Nye, 63, Mary Jo Nye, 60, Dorothy Brown, 74, and Barbara Hawthorne, 68 – were all killed.
The teenager was rushed to hospital with injuries so severe, doctors believed she hadn’t made it.
When her parents arrived, doctors told them she was brain dead. Around two hours after that, she was getting ready for surgery when she incredibly showed signs of life.
Michigan State Police First Lt. Dale Hinz described the moment the girl showed signs of life.
He told Michigan Live: ‘The only word to describe it is wow. It’s absolutely a miracle that she’s alive and we’re definitely hopeful for her continued improvement.
Governor Rick Snyder met with the families of the victims on Sunday.
He told reporters: ‘She’s got all our thoughts and prayers to have a chance to come back. So it’s going to be quite a recovery period.’
Father-of-two Dalton surrendered to police on Sunday morning after he allegedly fired a barrage of 30 bullets at eight innocent and defenseless people during a five-hour rampage.
It was later revealed he was an Uber driver who was picking up and dropping off passengers in between his shooting sprees.
Some who got in his car to use his service said he was driving erratically and one even called 911 to report his bizarre behavior when they got out.
High school senior Tyler Smith, 17, was killed in the parking lot of Seelye Kia, along with his father, Rich, while they were looking at cars, multiple reports suggest.
Dalton does not have a criminal history and has not suffered from mental illness in the past.
But neighbors told WWMT he had been paranoid in the months leading up to the shooting and had been known to fire guns randomly.
Gary Pardo told MLive that Dalton ‘didn’t seem like that kind of guy’ who would do such a thing.
Police confirmed on Sunday that his family were safe as they searched his home.
The two scenes where bystanders were shot and killed were the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Texas Township and at the Seelye Ford dealership in Kalamazoo County.
Four people, those identified by police, died at the Cracker Barrel restaurant, while a 14-year-old girl was seriously injured.
Police said the suspect got out of his vehicle and shot people while they were sitting in two cars in the parking lot – a Chevrolet Cruze and an Oldsmobile.
One of those he killed was Mary Jo Nye, a former English teacher from the nearby Calhoun Community High School.
She is being remembered as a teacher who could help even the most reluctant students become better writers.
Tara Egnatuk, assistant director of the Calhoun Community High School, said she worked for six years with Nye at the alternative school that serves many at-risk students.
Egnatuk says that Nye helped write the charter to create the school. Egnatuk spent hours in Nye’s classroom and was mentored by her during the time they worked together.
She says Nye was able to get students to become better writers by taking ‘baby steps’ to get them to open up. She adds that Nye ‘played a really integral part in a lot of kids’ lives’.
Nye’s sister-in-law, Mary Lou Nye, was also killed in the shooting. Friends have organized a GoFundMe page for their family.
Patrick Mallon Jr. said he didn’t know 74-year-old Dorothy Brown, well but what he did know he liked.
After she moved in two doors down in Battle Creek about 10 years ago, the woman everyone knew as Judy would come over with herbs she grew.
Mallon said she would always wave and say hello and whenever he and his wife went on vacation, Brown would keep an eye on the house and feed their cat.
Mallon said Brown had two grown sons, with one living in California and the other in Florida