Parents: 14-year-old Kalamazoo shooting victim ‘fighting for her life’

Posted at 9:48 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 21:48:32-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The 14-year-old girl critically injured Saturday night in the Kalamazoo County shooting rampage is "is alive and she is fighting for her life," said her family, who identified her Monday evening.

Abigail Kopf, whose name had been initially withheld by her family, was one of five people shot outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant Saturday night in Texas Township. Kopf's parents addressed media Monday night and said their daughter remains in critical condition and on a ventilator.

She was with the woman she calls grandma, Barbara Hawthorne, and two other victims when shots rang out Saturday night.

We're told the five victims had just finished watching a play and were returning to their cars in the Cracker Barrel parking lot when they were shot.

"We are devastated by the loss of Grandma Barb and her wonderful friends. We will miss them dearly," said Gene Kopf, Abigail's father. "Barb was a special part of our lives our thoughts go out to her family."

"We’ve been by Abigail's bedside since this happened. She is strong-willed and she is fighting."

Abigail Kopf with

Abigail Kopf with her grandma. Undated courtesy photo.

Abigail was initially thought to have been the seventh person shot to death Saturday night, but she later squeezed her mother's hand indicating that she was in fact alive. Michigan State Police Lt. Dale Hinz told FOX 17 that doctors were discussing donating Abigail's organs when she responded to her mother's voice by squeezing her hand. The girl squeezed her mother's hand again when asked if she could hear her and then gave two thumbs up.

Kopf's parents said she's squeezing more hands and showing signs of progress.

"She is alive and she’s fighting for her life," said Vicki Kopf, Abigail's mom. "I want everyone to understand that Abigail is strong and she is a vibrant, beautiful young lady that didn’t deserve this. Nor did her grandmother and those other victims."

The Kopfs also said their thoughts were with the family of the suspected shooter, Jason Dalton, and said they believed his family is also suffering.