Mass shooting survivor talks surviving grief after 12 years

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah woman who survived a mass shooting in Salt Lake City 12 years ago is slowly dying from lead poisoning after a shotgun left 300 pellets in her body, a report said.

Carolyn Tuft, 56, has struggled with grief after surviving the 2007 Trolley Square mall shooting that killed her 15-year-old daughter, KUTV-TV reported Tuesday.

There are hardships that come with surviving a shooting that most people have yet to realize, Tuft told KUTV-TV after two mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio triggered memories.

"I feel for them because I know that their journey ahead is a rough, rough journey," Tuft said.

Tuft and her daughter, Kirsten Hinckley, were shopping for Valentine's Day cards at the mall when they were both shot multiple times by a teenage gunman. The man killed five people and wounded four others.

"We walked in, we heard shots, it didn't make sense," said Tuft. "I was looking around at the pink walls thinking, it's so weird that I'm going to die on the floor of Trolley Square today."

One of Tuft's friends has noticed how difficult it has been for her to get through the last 12 years.

"Carolyn has trouble getting up in the morning and getting dressed," said Mary Anne Thompson, local chapter leader of Moms Demand Action, an organization pushing for stronger gun laws and Tuft's friend. "For many like my friend Carolyn, it's a life sentence of pain."

It's been a little over a decade and Tuft is dealing with headaches and constant nausea as a result of the lead poisoning, Thompson said.

Now Tuft has expressed her political position to make sure others can potentially avoid what she has been going through for years.

She does not favor total gun bans, she said. But she does support stronger background checks and proposed "red flag" laws.


Information from: KUTV-TV,