DALLAS - A North Texas mother who was shot while attending the protest in downtown Dallas Thursday is now thanking the officers who literally risked their lives to save hers.
Shetamia Taylor is still recovering at Baylor University Hospital. She shared her story with reporters at the hospital Sunday afternoon.
The 37-year-old said she felt motivated to join the protests because of everything that's been happening, not just the two most recent incidents in Louisiana and Minnesota. She's a mother of 5 young black men and she brought four of them - ages 12, 13, 15 and 17 - with her to the event.
"We were there. It was really nice. It was very peaceful. It was informative. The kids had a good time. My 12-year-old was like, 'I'm making history. I get to march,'" she said.
They were heading home early so she wouldn't be too tired for work in the morning when she heard the first gunshot. She got emotional when she talked about what happened next.
"It was the second shot and the police officer… I saw him kind of tall, hefty, white guy, bald. I remember seeing him and that second shot, as he was going down he said, 'He has a gun. Run!'" she said.
Taylor felt a bullet hit the back of her leg as she and her sons ran. She pushed one son down behind a car and tried to shield him.
Moments later other officers called out to find out if anyone was hurt. She let them know she had been hit and immediately they jumped to cover her and her son.
"They stayed there with us and I saw another officer get shot right there in front of me," she said tearfully.
Eventually the officers put her and her son in the back of a squad car and drove them to the hospital.
"That car was riddled with bullets," she said. "I'm thankful that that officer didn't get hit as he was driving us."
Taylor got separated from three of her sons. When she got to the hospital she also saw one of the officers who was shot right in front of her being rushed into the emergency room.
"I just kept praying for my sons to be safe, for the officers to be safe. Because it was… I've never been in a situation like that before. It was hundreds of rounds. I've never heard anything like that before. It was just shots all around us," she said.
She's thankful for all the officers who she said had no regard for their own life. They instead protected her and other citizens. She also wants to send her prayers to the family members of the officers who passed.
What happened Thursday night was not an experience Taylor thought she'd ever have to deal with, but she believes she's a better person now because of it. She also thinks her sons are better for it.
"They have a clear understanding of how the world really can be and how some people are selfish and they don't take into consideration the lives of others," she said.
"I'm sorry that it happened. I'm sorry that that person thought that it would be okay or that it would solve something. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that they lost their lives," she cried.