McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — Irvin Walker was looking for a parking place after dropping his girlfriend off at a Dallas-area mall just over a week ago when he felt the gunfire.
The 46-year-old from Lafayette, Louisiana, who was hit with bullet fragments in his head, chest, neck and arm, spoke Tuesday at Medical City McKinney in Texas about his recovery from the May 6 shooting at Allen Premium Outlets, where eight people were killed.
He said he's drawn strength from his faith, family, friends and the hospital staff.
“I think this event was just evidence of evil not winning,” Walker said, sitting in a wheelchair during a news conference, wounds visible on his arm. “The power of God just showed brightly and gave me an opportunity to fight through this process, and evil is not going to win.”
Hundreds of shoppers were sent scrambling for cover when a gunman stepped out of a sedan and began shooting people, cars and glass storefronts at the mall in Allen, a multicultural suburb of 105,000 located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Dallas. The gunman was killed by a police officer.
Dr. Elizabeth Kim, trauma director at the hospital located about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the mall, said Walker's smile after he was rushed to the emergency room was one of the “bright parts of that day."
“You were calm and you know, you were an inspiration for me,” Kim told him.
Walker, who works in insurance, said that at first, he didn't even see the gunman. “I just felt the shots,” he said. But walking and running from his car, he spotted the shooter.
Walker said he ran toward a mall security guard, Christian LaCour, 20, who intercepted him and told him to sit down. LaCour was killed soon after.
“I don't have much to say after that,” Walker said. “A tragedy occurred.”
Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey has said LaCour was shot “while courageously remaining to help others.”
Kim said Walker “had multiple wounds, too many to even count,” and had several surgeries for the injuries. She described the soft tissue damage as extreme.
“There were several bullet fragments that we were extremely worried about," Kim said.
She said expects him to begin rehabilitation in a couple of days.
“He still has a long road to go for a recovery,” Kim said.