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Teen continues to fight for life in hospital after mass shooting

Posted at 5:13 PM, Feb 22, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A simple squeeze of her mother's hand was enough to alert doctors that a 14-year-old victim of the mass shootings in Kalamazoo had survived the carnage.

Michigan State Police First Lt. Dale Hinz says initially it was thought the girl had died after being shot once in the head.

The girl's parents told Lt. Hinz on Sunday that after the hand-squeezing, a doctor asked the girl a question, wanting a thumbs-up response. She responded.

"If there's one ray of light in this terrible tragedy that we've experienced, maybe this is it," said Michigan State Police First Lt. Dale Hinz, "but she still has a very long road to travel."

The girl, whose name is being withheld at her family's request, was one of five people who was shot outside Cracker Barrel restaurant Saturday night in Texas Township.  She remains in critical condition.

The other four victims, Mary Lou Nye, Mary Jo Nye, Dorothy Brown and Barbara Hawthorne, died.

Jason Dalton, 45, has been charged in connection with the shooting spree, which also claimed the lives of two other people at the Seelye Kia Ford Dealership.   One other person was allegedly shot by Dalton outside Meadows Townhomes.

Dalton was arraigned Monday on six counts of open murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight counts of felony firearms.  Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says that Dalton has admitted to the shootings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report