Friend: Shooting Victim Saved My Children

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jul 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-01 10:08:05-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Children were playing on the front porch of a Muskegon home near 5th Street and Monroe Avenue on July 9 when shots rang out.

“The first bullet went through my bedroom into my mattress, right where my daughter had been laying,” Heather Tanner recalled. She lived on the first floor.

Moments before the shooting, Tanner said, a group of guys had been playing dice on the sidewalk near her home. She heard arguing, but nothing out of the ordinary for the neighborhood. Then the gunfire started.

“My kids were coming at me screaming, My son was saying he was shot. So I checked him over really quick and his hand had been nicked.”

The kids were okay, but in the chaos, Tanner made a startling discovery regarding her sister-in-law, Carmesha Rogers.

“Carmesha was laying on my floor, right inside my door on her belly, and she had been shot in the head, and I thought she was gone,” Tanner explained.

If it had not been for 27-year-old Rogers’ quick actions, Tanner says any of those five children could have been killed.

“She saw the guns come out, so she ran all the way down the steps and pushed all of the children into the house. She was the last person to be into the house and unfortunately was hit.”

Miraculously, Rogers survived. She’s now in intensive care recovering from that bullet wound. Her family said she is making progress one day at a time, and she’s able to write in order to communicate.

Tanner has since moved from the home where she’d lived for four years. She now makes trips to the hospital to visit Rogers, who is a mother of two herself.

“People say it’s mother’s instinct, but they weren’t even her children,” Tanner said. “As a mother, words cannot describe how thankful I am for Carmesha. She’s my hero, and she’s my children’s angel.”