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‘That’s somebody’s baby girl’ — Fort Worth mass shooting eyewitness focused on one victim

Michael Lockhart heard the shots first.

Within minutes, three people lay dead or dying. And eight more had been wounded.

It was just before midnight Monday. Many residents in Fort Worth’s Como neighborhood had celebrated the July Fourt holiday at the annual ComoFest earlier in the evening. What followed — apparently unrelated to the earlier event — was chaos.

People tried to run to safety, but some didn’t make it. Police and paramedics struggled to get to the victims. Who fired the shots — and why — still was still something of a mystery Tuesday evening.

“By the time I can turn around and look…everybody [is] running and I see people running,” said Lockhart, who is with LEGACY Lake Como, which had organized ComoFest. “I can see the direction the shots come from because I can see…the sparks coming from the gun.”

The 50-year-old Lockhart saw a young woman running – until a bullet cut her down.

“She fell…immediately when she was hit,” he recalled.

The woman had been shot in the head but was still alive as he and another man approached her.

“We were scared to move her because it was a head injury,” Lockhart said. He got in touch with 911 dispatchers and tried to find out what to do. The dispatchers tried to get paramedics to the stricken women. Lockhart said they were having trouble getting into the area with so many people fleeing.

Lockhart and her companion tried to keep her airway open – they worried she’d choke on her own tongue.

After what seemed like a very long time to Lockhart, police in riot gear approached and then carried her to an ambulance.

Lockhart said he isn’t sure of her name — it all happened so fast — but he learned later that the woman died.

“That’s somebody’s baby girl,” Lockhart said. “I have a daughter.

"So it just kind of hits home that your baby goes out to try to enjoy herself with family and friends and just ends up shot over nothing that she did, nothing she involved with — just kids with guns.”

Got a tip? Christopher Connelly is KERA's One Crisis Away Reporter, exploring life on the financial edge. Email Christopher can follow Christopher on Twitter @hithisischris.

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Copyright 2023 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Christopher Connelly is a KERA reporter based in Fort Worth. Christopher joined KERA after a year and a half covering the Maryland legislature for WYPR, the NPR member station in Baltimore. Before that, he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow at NPR – one of three post-graduates who spend a year working as a reporter, show producer and digital producer at network HQ in Washington, D.C.
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