‘My daughter is not dead’: Kalamazoo victim’s heart stops, then she squeezes mom’s hand

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A simple squeeze of her mother’s hand was enough to alert doctors that a 14-year-old victim of the mass shootings in Kalamazoo had survived.

Initial reports were that Abigail Kopf had died after being shot once in the head, State police Lt. Dale Hinz said Monday.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that Kopf’s heart stopped and hospital officials had actually made contact with the organ and tissue donation program.

But then she squeezed her mother’s hand. After that, a doctor asked the girl a question, wanting a thumbs-up response.

Hinz says “she gave him two thumbs up” and “it’s a glimmer of hope in this otherwise tragic situation.”

The girl’s parents held a news conference Monday night along with a doctor from the hospital where she’s being treated. They say she remains on a ventilator in critical condition.

“My daughter is not dead,” Vicki Kopf said, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. “She is alive and she is fighting for her life. I want everybody to understand that. Abigail is strong and she is a vibrant, beautiful, young lady. And she did not deserve this. And neither did her grandmother or those other victims.”

Authorities say Kopf was in a car outside a Kalamazoo-area restaurant when she was shot Saturday. She was in the car with three others, all of whom were killed.

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