Tiana Carruthers knew something wasn't right Saturday evening in Kalamazoo, Mich., when alleged gunman Jason Dalton pulled up outside the Meadows Townhomes apartment complex. She immediately began ushering children, who were outside playing before Dalton approached, to safety.
The 25-year-old mother saw Dalton approach 12-year-old Joi Coleman, authorities say.
"Have you seen Mazie?" he reportedly asked the preteen.
According to the New York Daily News, it's unclear who Mazie is or why Dalton asked for this person.
Carruthers then walked over to see if the man needed any help, and that is when authorities say he opened fire.
"He shot her once and she was still running, and then he shot her again and she fell. She was asking, 'Joi, help me. Joi, help me,' " the girl recounted.
Carruthers was hit three times in the legs and arms but is expected to survive, WMMT reports.
She was conscious after the shooting and was able to give police an accurate description of Dalton and the car he was driving.
No children were injured in that shooting, since Carruthers put herself between the gunman and the kids. However, Dalton sped off to kill six people and injure another, authorities said.
According to the Daily News, he went on to shoot Richard Smith and his son Tyler, 17, dead as they were looking at cars around 10 p.m.
He would then fatally shoot Mary Lou Nye, 60; Mary Joe Nye, 62; Barbara Hawthorne, 68; and Dorothy Brown, 74, at a nearby Cracker Barrel, officials said.
"Fourteen-year-old Abigail Kopf was also shot at the country restaurant and was fighting for her life as of Monday night," the Daily News reports.
Dalton, who was a driver for Uber and was reportedly picking up fares during the attacks, was arrested early Sunday morning. Carruthers was able to pick Dalton out of a lineup, and Dalton now faces first-degree-murder charges. Dalton reportedly confessed to the attacks and has been denied bail.