Shooting Victims' Families Speak Out On Tragedy - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shooting Victims' Families Speak Out On Tragedy

Tanya Cooper's mother Pat White says her daughter told her it was a miracle she was still alive. White says 27-year-old Tanya Cooper was talking mostly about her two children as she was wheeled into the emergency room.

Pat White says considering where the bullet landed, the fact that Tanya is alive is a miracle. After being shot in the head, the bullet remains lodged in her brain.

"They couldn't touch it because they said it would kill her or paralyze her," White says.

Since early Sunday morning, Tanya Cooper's family has sat anxiously in a hospital waiting room praying for her recovery. Her boyfriend's family was just one floor away at Biloxi Regional, also hoping. No one expected that a trip to the casino could turn into tragedy.

"You see all these gun shootings and the schools and all and you think, oh, that's not going to happen here, not in our good town, but it did," White said.

Ut Pham and her husband were regulars at Casino Magic. Mrs. Pham told her son she heard what she thought was fireworks. Later she learned that a bullet had pierced the chair she was sitting on and hit her in the buttocks.

"The doctor says she might need surgery, she might not," Pham's Phong Tran said. "But chances are, she won't need the surgery. Everything's okay."

Pham's son says it may be a while, but his mom will probably eventually go back to the casino. Tanya Cooper says she will never go back.

"When you see somebody like that, who just goes berserk, it just makes you think that they really need to have metal detectors," Cooper's aunt Deborah Capps said.

Tanya's family members say security at a casino is something they never thought about before. Now, it's something they may never be able to forget.

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