By Ayesha Hana Shaji
Texas Metro News Team
What started out as a somewhat typical day for many turned into trauma for a Texas community. With weather reports of pleasantly warm and breezy with average highs in the mid 80s, thousands were out shopping at the Allen Premium Outlet Mall in Allen, Texas when mayhem erupted, on May 6.
Irvin Walker II dropped off his girlfriend at an entrance and was on his way to park when he heard bullets shatter his windshield, hitting him multiple times. Fortunately she was not injured during the attack that left several dead and injured.
“I didn’t see the shooter, I just felt the shots,” Walker said. “I was bleeding profusely.”
The Louisiana native said he immediately got out of his car and started “running, then I started jogging and then I started walking fast as I knew the urgency of my situation.”
He ran to a security guard – Christian LaCour, who lost his life at the shooting while he bravely escorted visitors to safety – who asked him to have a seat.
Walker, an independent contractor, reportedly was the first to get shot and was also the first to be taken to the hospital, Medical City McKinney.
He was brought to the hospital within 14 minutes of the initial reports, said Janet St. James, Assistant Vice President of PR and Media Communications at Medical City Healthcare.
On that day, Mauricio Garcia’s senseless act of violence was registered as the second-deadliest mass shooting in the US this year.
On Tuesday, May 16, Medical City McKinney addressed media to provide an update on the hospital’s response to the tragic shooting. Trauma Director Dr. Elizabeth Kim, Chief Nursing Officer Cassidi Summers, Walker and Walker’s attorney, Daryl Washington were all present.
Dr. Kim detailed Walker’s injuries, explaining the extent of the bullet fragments and the potential risks they posed.
“He had multiple bullet fragments, you know, on around his head, his neck, his chest, his arm,” she said. “There were several bullet fragments that we were extremely worried about… some of those bullet tracks were so extensive and we had to open them up and clean everything out underneath.”
But Dr. Kim said he still had a smile and that was one of the bright parts of that day.
“You were calm and you were an inspiration for me,” she said to Walker.
Walker expressed gratitude for the support and expertise of the medical professionals at Medical City McKinney, acknowledging their love and dedication in treating him.
Despite the difficult circumstances, Walker’s faith and the prayers of people from across the country and beyond provided him with strength and hope. He thanked the hospital administration, his family, his faith, his friends and his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers for their unwavering support.
“I’ve nothing to say about the shooting or the shooter…evil is not gonna win,” he said. “The power of God just showed brightly and gave me the opportunity to fight through this process.”
Civil Rights Attorney Darryl Washington appeared on the Black Star Network with journalist Roland Martin, at a press conference along with Walker’s daughter and.again at a community vigil for the victims. At every occasion, Walker’s concern for the other victims was expressed.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. released a statement on Monday, May 10, mourning the lives lost in the shooting and condolences to the families of the victim.
“The Fraternity is outraged and condemns the acts of the alleged mass shooter, Mauricio Garcia, who was found to have Neo-Nazi ideation and killed eight people, including three children,” the statement read. “We also pray for the speedy recovery of its seven victims, including Brother Walker, a Spring 1997 Delta Sigma initiate at Grambling State University and member of the General Organization.”
Several of his fraternity brothers from the area were also in attendance on Tuesday. It was Jayson Johnson, another Spring 1997 Delta Sigma initiate who, along with others, started a Gofundme account to help defray the enormous costs associated with multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, loss of work, etc.
Johnson wrote on the page that has garnered close to six figures since May 8, “First, I am asking that everyone keep Irvin and all the victims in your prayers. Second, if you find it in your heart, please donate to help cover Irvin’s medical and personal expenses as he fights to get back on his feet.”
Donations can be made to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-needed-for-irvin-walker