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Tiana Carruthers nominated for congressional award

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Posted at 3:14 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 18:51:20-04

WASHINGTON — A woman who was shot several times while shielding children with her body during the Kalamazoo shooting rampage has been nominated for a congressional award.

Tiana Carruthers is one of 20 people who were named finalists for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honors Award. The award recognizes people whose actions who have shown courage and selfless service.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, announced her nomination Monday.

“Tiana Carruthers is a local hero whose name and legacy should be known across the nation,” Upton said in a release. “Her courage on that day in 2016 is simply remarkable, and by God’s grace, she survived, the children were not harmed, and now we can honor her as a nation for her unbelievable bravery.

“Our community will forever be in her debt because of what she did to protect her daughter and all of those children. She exemplifies what it means to be a true citizen hero. Tiana went from the common among us to an extraordinary hero deserving of recognition by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.”

Carruthers was the first person who was shot in Jason Dalton’s February 2016 shooting rampage around the Kalamazoo area. She suffered multiple gunshot wounds protecting her daughter and other children from gunfire at an apartment complex.

During police interviews, Dalton told investigators he emptied an entire magazine shooting at her. Police said he thought he had killed her and asked how she survived that many gunshots.

Carruthers was one of two people to survive the shooting spree. The other was then-14-year-old Abigail Kopf, who has had to go through several surgeries during her recovery.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society will announce who will receive the award on Thursday. Winners will be honored at an event on March 25 in Washington, D.C.