A 12-year-old girl was shot on Thanksgiving night while out shopping with her grandmother in an Alabama mall.

The incident took place at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover when two men got into a “physical altercation.”

Things escalated pretty quickly when a 21-year-old man pulled a gun and shot an 18-year-old man in the abdomen. A stray bullet hit 12-year-old Molly in the back.

When police arrived, they saw the gunman waving his weapon and fatally shot him.

The 18-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital in serious condition. Molly was taken to a Children’s Hospital in stable condition.


Molly’s mother, Julie Moore Bennett, detailed the incident in a post on her Facebook page.

Just before 10:00 last night, my mom Elaine called and told me that my 12-year-old daughter Molly had been shot inside the Galleria. Mammaw had taken Molly and Jessie Black Friday shopping. They were upstairs, outside of JCPenney when a fight broke out. Shots were fired, and one of the bullets hit Molly in the back. She said that her back hurt, but didn’t even realize she had been shot until she overheard my mom telling me on the phone. A military medic took care of her until the paramedics arrived. A nurse came to help and assured my mom that the medic was doing everything exactly right. The shoe store employees allowed the medic to use a shirt off the rack to hold pressure on the wound, and they brought a jacket to cover Molly when she got cold.

Mammaw rode in the ambulance with Molly to Children’s Hospital, and a police officer drove Jessie over there. Robby drove me from our house in Calera and got me there a minute or two before the ambulance arrived from the Galleria. I was able to walk in with Molly and talk to her for a minute before they started working on her. There were so many kind people taking care of us and telling us what was going on. Firefighters, police, doctors, nurses, a chaplain, and more… They were all amazing.

After a while, we were able to go see Molly, a few people at a time. She was hurting a lot, but very brave and positive as always. They took Molly to the operating room and made an incision from about two inches above her belly button to two inches below it. They found that none of her organs were damaged and that there was no internal bleeding. The bullet had gone in her back at an angle and lodged really close to her spine. The surgeon explained that she would have a CT scan in the morning to determine if there was any damage to her spine. If there is none, they will leave the bullet where it is, and she should be able to go home Tuesday or Wednesday.

Molly was in recovery for a really long time, and finally moved to a room around 2:30am. She is on a morphine pump, and has been sleeping a lot, but also vomiting some, and in more pain from the incision than from the bullet wound.

I am so thankful for everyone who helped us, for those who were at the hospital with us, and for all the messages and prayers. Yeah, bad guys are out there. But what I learned from this is that there are so many more good guys and girls who are willing to go above and beyond to help a stranger in need. I love every single one of you!

Molly’s mother later added that a CT scan showed she also had a fractured rib, but her spine was not injured.

She also added that doctors have opted not to remove the bullet as they believe it will not cause her any issues outside of setting off metal detectors.

My prayers go out to Molly as well as the 18-year-old young man.

It’s so unfortunate that we live in a world where you aren’t safe anywhere!

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