DUMAS, Ark – Victims and their families in Dumas say they’re still trying to wrap their heads around a Saturday shooting that left 27 injured.
Officials with the Arkansas State say the deadly shooting outside the Hood-Nic car show was the largest mass shooting incident in state history.
Kimbla Calvin says she was at the car show with her family.
“Everybody came home. My son from Texas, he came home, my nephew,” said Calvin. “We were all going to meet up here and have a good time like we usually do.”
Calvin says she’s attended the car show in the past. Each year, the area is filled with people, food and music. This year though, fun quickly turned to fear.
“I started having a panic attack,” said Calvin. “I just didn’t know what to do, I was devastated.”
Calvin says she was headed toward her car when she heard gunshots. She says she quickly took cover behind a pillar at the Mad Butcher.
“People were everywhere. I mean on the ground, in their cars screaming and hollering,” said Calvin. “I have never seen anything like this in my life.”
Calvin says prior to the shooting, her family was scattered throughout the event. When gunshots rang out, she says she was alone.
“TJ’s sister Rachel calls me, hollering and screaming saying ‘TJ had been shot’,” said Calvin.
Calvin says her nephew Steven Mitchell Jr. or ‘TJ’ was shot three times, once in the stomach.
When ambulances arrived at the scene, Calvin says TJ declined help.
“TJ told them to go on and get the kids and the elderly people that were injured,” said Calvin.
Calvin says her nephew gave up his own care for others.
“For someone to be standing there injured and bleeding, he sacrificed,” said Calvin.
“That’s a hero,” said TJ’s grandfather Leon Clay.
Calvin says family members drove TJ to a hospital in Dumas, then in Mcgehee where he was then airlifted to UAMS.
TJ underwent surgery Sunday. The family says he is now at home recovering.
The family is hoping everyone else involved can begin to heal from this, they say though, it will take some time.