DUMAS, Ark. – A shooting at a Dumas car show injured dozens of people and killed one person. Two days after the incident, a victim said she will likely never emotionally recover.
Brittany Allen lives in Northwest Arkansas but returns to Dumas each year for the ‘Hood-Nic’ car show, an event hosted by a nonprofit organization promoting nonviolence in the community. She said Dumas is her hometown, and she identifies with the message.
“It’s passion in this event,” Allen said. “Personally, I’ve known people who’ve been victims of gun violence, so this has been near and dear to my heart.”
Allen said she was chatting with two of her sisters when one noticed a fight brewing nearby. Before anybody had time to think about what was happening, shots rang out.
“Then I just started to hear really faint gunshots,” Allen said. “They really sound just like firecrackers, almost.”
Nobody reacted at first, Allen said, but as the shots got louder, people began to flee the parking lot outside the old Fred’s store. Amid the chaos, Allen said a young girl tripped and fell, so she stopped to help her.
“I stood up, got her, and as I tried to take off again, I felt the bullet hit the back of my leg,” Allen said.
At first, Allen said she didn’t feel any pain. Instead, she described feeling a “heat.” She was able to keep running.
“I still had my adrenaline pumping,” Allen said. “I was able to still run with the little girl, thank God. She was protected, and she didn’t get harmed.”
Allen wound up at a Dumas hospital, where many other victims were also taken. Cameron Shaffer, 23, was one of them. Arkansas State Police reported Shaffer as the lone death after the shooting, and 27 people were shot.
“I actually watched them wheel him in, doing CPR, but unfortunately he didn’t make it,” Allen said. “That did traumatize me.”
Surgeons removed the bullet from Allen’s leg, and state police took it as evidence. Police said Sunday that two individuals are the suspected shooters, but neither have been arrested yet.
“Today was the first day it really dawned on me, ‘You were shot, and you could’ve died,'” Allen said.
Allen said she doesn’t yet know how long the recovery process will take. She hopes by the time she’s walking normally, the shooters will be in custody.
“Innocent lives were lost,” Allen said. “People were in danger. Although I’m alive, I physically have trauma from this I may never come back [from.]”
Allen said she plans to return to the ‘Hood-Nic’ show next year because allowing violence to shut down the event is antithetical to its purpose. Instead, she wants stronger measures put in place to prevent another tragedy.
“Mentally, I am not okay,” Allen said. “I can only imagine how those kids feel.”