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Kalamazoo mass shooting survivor says she will no longer be a victim

Tiana Carruthers, who survived the injuries, was one of those who was shot by Jason Dalton the night of the Kalamazoo mass shooting. (WWMT/Matt Loughrin)

A survivor of the Kalamazoo shooting spree is finding some relief knowing the killer will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Tiana Carruthers is one of the two survivors from the Feb. 20, 2016 murderous rampage by Jason Dalton.

Dalton will spend life in prison without the possibility for parole for shooting and killing innocent people while out driving for Uber. Carruthers sat in court Monday as Dalton pleaded guilty to all 16 charges.

When asked if Carruthers wanted Dalton to go to trial, she said, “I honestly didn’t want to relive the horrors.”

She said Dalton’s life sentence gives her only some relief.

“I feel like he did that for himself,” Carruthers said. “That’s the only ounce of control that he had left.”

Carruthers has been on a long, emotional road to recovery since the night of terror. She was the first person shot by Dalton and shielded her daughter and a group of children with her body. She was shot several times.

The young mother explained she has had several surgeries, treatments and rehab and is preparing for another upcoming surgery.

She said she’s not going to be a victim any longer.

“I’m stronger than I was," she said.

Since the shooting, Carruthers started a program called “Shero With a Message.” She travels to speak about her survival story and recovery, hoping to encourage others about overcoming obstacles.

While expressing her passion for Shero With a Message, Carruthers said, “It’s going to be something big.”

Carruthers can be reached for speaking engagements at 269-270-9564 or carrutherstiana.shero@gmail.com.

Connect with Franque Thompson on Facebook and Twitter.

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