Family of 14-year-old Kalamazoo shooting victim: 'She's fighting for her life'

Abigail Kopf was among eight shot Saturday

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The parents of the 14-year-old victim that was shot Saturday evening in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant during the Kalamazoo shooting rampage are breaking their silence.

Abigail Kopf is in critical condition at Bronson Children's Hospital.

"My daughter is not dead. She's alive and she is fighting for her life," Vicki Kopf said. "She's showing some progress."

Abigail underwent surgery and remains on a ventilator. 

Abigail still "has a long road ahead," her father Gene Kopf said. He also said she is "strong-willed and fighting."

Vicki Kopf said Abigail has been wiggling her toes and even squeezed her hand.

"It was a miracle on its own,"Vicki Kopf said. "You don't expect it and then all of the sudden it's there."

Doctors discussed with her parents the worst-case scenario that she could have severe brain damage. Following the tragedy, Abigail's heart had stopped beating.

Doctors were able to restore her heartbeat and say they're encouraged by her stability and responsiveness.

“Abigail, her parents and our team continue to fight hard for her life,” Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies said. “In spite of the seriousness of her injuries, we are encouraged by her relative stability over the past couple of days and her responsiveness to her parents and our team.”

Abigail had joined four women for dinner at the restaurant and went to see a show at Miller Auditorium. The group had returned to the restaurant to pick up the other vehicle just before 10:30 p.m.

The four women were killed and were identified as 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye of Battle Creek, her 62-year-old sister-in-law Mary Lou Nye of Baroda, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne of Battle Creek and 74-year-old Dorothy Brown of Battle Creek.


Prior to the shooting at the Cracker Barrel, a father and son were killed at the Seelye Ford Kia Dealership. They were identified as 18-year-old Tyler Smith and 53-year-old Richard Smith.

A woman was shot multiple times hours before the shooting at the dealership outside the Meadows apartment complex. She is expected to survive.

Jason Brian Dalton, 45, was arraigned on murder charges Monday afternoon and was denied bail. He faces six counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and eight counts of felony firearm.