“Heroes”

Mother who shielded son from sniper in Dallas at protest praises police

Surrounded by her family and medical staff, Shetamia Taylor tears up as she recalls the police officers that helped her during the deadly night when a gunman attacked and killed 5 police officers and wounding 7 others, including Taylor (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Shetamia Taylor, the heroic Texas mother who was shot while protecting her son during a sniper attack at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, shared her account of events from a wheelchair at a press conference held at Baylor University Medical Center on Sunday. Taylor said she had brought four of her sons, ranging in age from 12 to 17, to the protest to speak out against the killings of black men by police and to show her sons “that we can be unified” and hold a “peaceful march.”

After what had been a peaceful protest, Taylor said she and her family heard two shots ring out, then saw an officer fall. “As he was going down, he said, ‘He has a gun. Run,” Taylor recalled. Three of her sons successfully fled the scene, but Taylor was was shot in the back of her right leg. Taylor said she then tackled her 15-year-old son and “laid on top of him” behind a car. As officers realized she had been shot, they began to surround her, protecting her. “They had no regard for their own life,” Taylor recalled. “They stayed there with us.” As they protected her, Taylor said she saw another officer take a bullet right in front of her eyes. The officers loaded Taylor and her son into the back of a police car to get them to the hospital. By the time they arrived, Taylor said, the back of the car was riddled with bullets and the tires were flat.

Taylor, who suffered a fracture of her tibia, will be unable to put weight on her leg for two to three months. Nonetheless, she said the attack would not dissuade her from demonstrating again. “I don’t want [my sons] to think that I am a quitter,” said Taylor. While reiterating her support for the Black Lives Movement, Taylor added that she had always held police officers “in a very high place” and that her youngest son wants to be a cop. Calling the police who saved her “heroes,” Taylor said she felt most police officers deserve praise. “These are the people you call when you’re in a situation,” noted Taylor. “ … What are we gonna do if they stop policing? … Who are you gonna call?”

She also appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday and, nearly breaking into tears at points, described the horrors she witnessed unfold during the chaos as bullets rained down. Watch the interview below:

Read the full story at USA Today and The Associated Press.

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