A 37-year-old woman who was leaving a demonstration protesting police excessive force in Dallas was shot by sniper fire as she protected her young sons. Gunfire unexpectedly erupted Thursday night during the otherwise peaceful protest, sending demonstrators fleeing for their lives. Police later said the ambush attack was the work of four snipers who shot 12 police officers, five of whom died from their wounds. Two civilians were also injured in the attack.
One of the civilians wounded by sniper gunfire was Shetamia Taylor of Garland, Texas, who brought her four sons, ranging in age from 12 to 17, to the protest in Dallas Thursday night. The protest was one of several that took place in major cities around the U.S. in the wake of two fatal police shootings that claimed the lives of black men and were captured on video and shared on social media. Hours before the massacre in Dallas unfolded, Taylor posted on Facebook saying she was bringing her boys to the rally and that “sitting still is not something I can do right now.”
Taylor’s sister Theresa Williams told The Associated Press that when the gunfire erupted, Taylor’s sons began running in different directions. Amid the chaos, she was able to throw herself in front of one of her sons to shield him from the gunfire. “She jumped on top to cover him on the ground as she pushed him in between two cars in the curb,” Williams told WFAA, a local Dallas TV station. “All she could think about was her other three boys — where are they at?” Taylor was struck in the calf by a bullet as she protected her son.
Sonia Azad, a reporter for WFAA, posted a photo of Taylor’s injury on Twitter.
Taylor was treated at Baylor University Medical Center where she underwent surgery and is reportedly expected to make a full recovery.