A 37-year-old Texas woman who generally shied away from marches and rallies took her four sons to the protest in downtown Dallas because she was “fed up” after two black men were fatally shot by police, her family said Friday. But as they were leaving, Shetamia Taylor had to throw herself over them to shield them from sniper fire, which caught her in the right calf, her sister Theresa Williams told The Associated Press.
The gunfire left five Dallas officers dead and seven injured, along with Taylor and another civilian. Authorities have said that 25-year-old Micah Johnson, a black man who lived in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, acted alone in the shootings. He was killed by police after a standoff.
“She jumped on top of them to cover them when the bullets started flying everywhere,” Williams said outside of Baylor Medical Center, where Taylor, an Amazon employee, was recuperating from an early-morning surgery on her shattered tibia.
“She’s got four boys who she just wants to be able to be peacefully out here in the world,” Williams said of Taylor’s sons, ages 12, 13, 15 and 17.
Taylor’s 15-year-old son, Andrew, was splattered with her blood, Williams said, and after Taylor she fell from the impact of the shot, he ran to her and cradled her neck.
Andrew and 13-year-old Jauan left with Williams on Thursday, but 12-year-old Jamar and 17-year-old Kavion fled to a downtown hotel to take cover and were stuck behind a police barricade until around 4 a.m., when their father was able to pick them up, Williams said.
Sherie Williams, Taylor’s other sister, could hardly believe that her sister had been shot a little more than a year since her 26-year-old son, Kavaarian Williams, was shot in a random drive-by in downtown Minneapolis, where the sisters grew up.
Her four adult children “can’t sleep because of what’s going on,” and worry about their own children, she said.
“They can’t take them to the park because they’re not sure who’s going to be shooting,” Sherie Williams said.