Pike Road student able to speak again after Dadeville mass shooting

A 16-year-old student injured in the Dadeville mass shooting spoke for the first time after being shot.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 8:22 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A glimmer of hope came Sunday for one of the 32 people injured in the Dadeville mass shooting. It’s been more than two weeks since that horrific incident and one victim who was shot multiple times is still in the hospital.

Cheryl Sledge Richards said it’s a miracle her daughter, 16-year-old Trinity Richards, survived the mass shooting on April 15. The Pike Road High School junior is still in the hospital in critical condition.

“Trinity is a beautiful spirit, inside and out. She’s confident. She’s independent, strong and disciplined,” said Cheryl Richards.

She said the doctors said since the beginning that they did not know how her injuries would affect her.

“We are in the same position we’ve always been in. We need a miracle. and then another miracle, and yet another miracle until Trinity is whole and healthy and happy again,” she said. “She’s made great strides towards it.”

The teen was attending her friend’s sweet 16 party when she was shot time times, including once in the head.

“The bullet traveled from her right side near the back of her ear towards the other lobe of her brain. And the bullet is lodged there, and they cannot remove it. It’d be too dangerous,” said Cheryl Richards.

Trinity Richards’ family has been by her side at UAB Hospital for the past 16 days. Her mother says Sunday, more than two weeks after the tragedy, they experienced a beautiful moment when Trinity spoke for the first time since the shooting.

“One of the first things she said was ‘Jesus.’ And we cried. Oh my God. And then she started to sing a gospel song that I listen to 100 times a day getting ready for work,” Cheryl Richards said. “I got the sweetest video yesterday of her singing just the line ‘Lord do it for me right now.’And her personality is intact. Not as big yet as it as it was.”

While this is an encouraging sign of positive progress for Trinity Richards, her mother believes it will take lots of prayer as she navigates the long road to recovery ahead.

“Trinity is a strong person. I am praying that her mental strength, her ability to navigate this long road to recovery, which will include extensive rehab for an outcome that we’re not absolutely certain of or man is not absolutely certain of. But I know that God has all power in his hands, and he can do it,” she said.

Trinity’s mother goes through, we are going to have quite a testimony and we look forward. We look forward on sharing. We look forward to sharing her message with young people everywhere.

Cheryl Richards said they have been blessed beyond measure with the amount of love and support that has come in during this time. A donation method has been set up to help the family. You can send donation via Cash App $CJRICHARDS55 or by mail to Miracles&Justice4Trinity, Post Office Box 3754, Montgomery, AL 36109.

When it comes to getting justice for her daughter and everyone else involved, Cheryl Richards said she trusts the process and the work law enforcement is doing and has done so far with the case.

If you would like to help the family out, you can click here.

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