It was just an ordinary day for Samantha Tygrit and her family when they loaded up and headed to their local Walmart in Las Vegas. They needed to pick up a few essentials and planned on heading back home. While Samantha was loading up the groceries, shots broke out in the parking lot.
Two men were shooting at each other, and her family was caught in the crossfire.
Samantha was hit in the shoulder by a stray bullet, but she was worried about her daughter, infant son, and toddler nephew, who were in the car.
She ran over to get them and grabbed her nephew to throw him to the ground. She tried to save her baby, too, but her 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, was already shielding him. Her daughter had also been shot.
Aaliyah felt a burning sensation and then noticed the blood.
Had she not shielded her baby brother, he would have like been shot in the stomach, which could have been fatal. Once the gun battle was over, the family was taken to the hospital
They were both treated and are now recovering. Aaliyah said that she didn’t hesitate to shield her brother from the bullets, and she doesn’t regret it. She talked about the scary incident, saying:
“I didn’t want the baby to get hurt so I like stepped in front of the babies. If I wouldn’t have stood in front of my brother, he would have been shot in the stomach.”
There is no doubt that this little girl is incredibly brave and loves her brother.
Not very many kids would think to risk their own lives to save a sibling. Most 10-year-olds would react by running away or screaming for help. This brave little girl did the right thing and possibly saved her brother’s life.
Samantha is incredibly proud of her daughter and relieved that her family is safe. She said:
“She saved her brother’s life yesterday, and my nephew’s, because they were both there. Her little body could only shield so much, but she threw herself in front of them.”
Aaliyah said that she is also glad nobody was hurt any worse than they were and that she is happy to have stepped up and saved her brother.
“I would rather be shot than him be shot.”
The police said that there were two men involved in the shootout and that one of them was injured. The injured suspect was treated at the hospital before being taken into custody, and the other suspect got away. Police are still searching for him.
In spite of all the shootings in the Las Vegas area last year, such as the mass shooting at a Las Vegas casino, police insist that crime rates were lower than usual in 2017.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a statement:
“We began last year committed to reducing violent crimes and we were able to deliver that promise. We still have more ground to cover, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Many people were angry with this statement because it didn’t account for the concert shooting. The sheriff explained that because it was a mass shooting, they didn’t have to count it on a federal level.
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City officials think that including the shooting in with other crimes will make the city look more dangerous and have negative effects on tourism.
Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony, a former Metro officer, explained:
“I do not believe they should include that in our regular violent crimes stats. That was such an anomaly, such an isolated event.”
It’s clear that even if the violent crime rate is decreasing, Las Vegas still has a long way to go. An innocent family should never be caught in the crossfire of a gun battle while at the grocery store, and no 10-year-old should ever have to take a bullet while trying to protect her baby brother.
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