Hospital workers, survivor recall chaotic scene after Allen mass shooting
Elizabeth Kim was at a wedding reception for one of her coworkers when the news came from city officials on a Saturday afternoon: a shooting, Allen Premium Outlets, multiple injured.
She left the party immediately and sprung into action as Dr. Kim, the trauma director at Medical City McKinney.
In the 20 minutes it took to arrive at the hospital, she called together a team of trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists and other medical professionals to take care of seven injured victims.
"Once I arrived, you know, I could really see that the training and the drills that we had done in our trauma center to provide good care for our patients was very apparent," Kim said.
Amid the chaos of the afternoon, she said, was a bright spot, a moment of calm to bring her back to Earth — a smile from one of her patients, Irvin Walker. The 46-year-old had bullet fragments lodged throughout his upper body.
Kim, Walker and the other medical professionals who have been caring for the Allen shooting victims spoke out for the first time Tuesday about patient recovery in the wake of the tragedy that also left eight victims and the shooter dead.
Walker said he was trying to find a parking spot at the mall when gunman Mauricio Garcia began shooting through his car window. Walker was shot three times — twice in his chest and once in his shoulder.
Garcia was later killed on the scene by police.
Walker remains recovering at Medical City McKinney more than a week after the May 6 shooting.
"The power of God just showed brightly and gave me an opportunity to fight through this process, and evil is not going to win," Walker said Tuesday.
Walker remembers getting out of his car after being shot and running to get help as he bled profusely. Medical City McKinney staff said Walker was the first victim of the shooting to arrive at the emergency room.
"The extent of soft tissue damage that he had was pretty extreme. We had to clean those out, eventually we were able to close those wounds back up," Kim said. "He's doing much better than when he first arrived, but he still has a long road to go for a recovery."
If the bullets in Walker's chest were any closer to his heart, she said, he could have died.
Despite his injuries, Walker was able to address reporters, thanking hospital staff for guiding his recovery.
“I'm just grateful,” Walker said. “Grateful to be here, grateful to see my daughter again and to see my supportive team."
Cassidi Summers, chief nursing officer for the hospital, said she was at the mall less than an hour before the shooting took place. She even walked on the same path the shooter had taken.
Summers and her family had just arrived at home when she got the notification the shooting had taken place.
Like Kim, she immediately got to work, treating victims alongside more than 100 other health care workers.
"I am incredibly proud of this team that demonstrated under stress an emotional situation," Summers said. "And, more importantly, I am honored to be sitting here with Mr. Walker today under much, much happier circumstances."
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