OROVILLE (CBS) – In a park, less than two miles from an Oroville AMPM where one person was killed and four people were injured in a mass shooting last Wednesday, a reunion took place.
It’s been six days since the shooting. On Tuesday, it was the first time the family of Karin Dalton, the mother who died protecting her children, got to thank their “angel” — AMPM employee, Mary Metoyer.READ MORE: Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse Just One Of Mother Nature's Wonders In The Sky Right Now
It’s too soon to go back to the AMPM. Riverbend Park was picked so Dalton’s children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son, have a place to play, too.
Metoyer, who was behind the cash register when shots rang out on Wednesday night, held the 11-year-old who was bleeding from the head until paramedics arrived. CBS13 will not name the children to preserve their privacy. Their mother, Dalton, 43, used her body to shield her children. Her family believes it’s why they survived. Her daughter was shot and spent some days hospitalized, but was released nearly a week later and is in good spirits.
The girl was eager to give Metoyer a hug Tuesday morning. When they pulled into the parking lot at the park, she got out of the car quickly and waited for Metoyer to turn around. When they locked eyes, Metoyer let out a sigh and opened her arms for a hug.
“Hi. How are you?” asked Metoyer, “I’m just gonna have to say, my birthday wish came true and that you survived.”
Dalton’s daughter wrapped her arms around Metoyer’s neck and tears filled her eyes. Her fingernails were painted red by nurses during her hospital stay.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
Her brother hugged and thanked Metoyer, too. Then, their father, Greg Dalton.READ MORE: Fire Damages Mobile Home In South Sacramento
“I just want to thank you for what you did for my kids,” said Dalton. Mary responded: “You’re so welcome, sir, so welcome.”
This family now calls Metoyer their “Angel” and Greg said he believes if it weren’t for Mary’s selflessness, his daughter may be in worse shape days later.
“I didn’t know what else to do, but just hold on to her and tell her she’s going to be okay, and I’m glad she is,” said Metoyer.
Greg said there’s a long road to recovery for their family and more to learn, like, how he’ll take on responsibilities of being a single parent. He said his daughter takes after her mother, Karin, and they haven’t let each other out of their sights for very long in the last six days.
“There’s been a lot of hugs,” said Michael Hart, cousin to Dalton.
The family is still processing the loss of Dalton, the impact of the injuries, and the mental impacts, too.
“[I’m] trying to wrap my head around the reasons why, what would cause this, what would make him do this,” said Greg, who said he is angry the suspect, named by authorities as 21-year-old Asaahdi Coleman of Sacramento, failed to appear in court last week.
“We will get through this; it’s just going to take time. We greatly appreciate the outreach that we’ve gotten. Like we tell the kids, one day at a time hour by hour, said Greg.MORE NEWS: Man Dies After Being Shot In Stockton; Homicide Detectives Investigating