This story of a mother’s love is bound to leave you in tears, but also have you wondering if one can ever fathom the depths of this unconditionally giving relationship.
Brave California mum, Tiffany Phommathep hadn’t expected that she was in for a life-changing incident on what looked like a regular weekday morning.
She was at Rancho Tehama Elementary School to drop her children when 44-year-old Kevin Neal opened fire on the small, rural community in Northern California.
The firing was taking place just a few steps from Phommathep’s car and she had to act fast.
Braveheart mum risked her own life to save her kids
Phommathep’s mum-instinct immediately kicked in when she saw Neal approaching them, open firing. Her 10-year-old son, John Jr., sat right next to her in the passenger seat. So she did what only a mum would do – she threw herself at him to protect him from the bullets, using her own body as a shield.
Phommathep was shot five times, four bullets hit her on her back left shoulder while one on her hip. Her children were also injured. John Jr. was shot in his calf twice. Jake, who is six years old was shot in the foot while the two-year-old Nikos cut himself by the exploding glass.
Mother’s love gave her the strength to drive away
Tiffany shares: “I just kept on praying that he’d go away because I can’t take another bullet. I knew I wouldn’t make it.”
Her other two sons were in the backseat. She just gathered herself and drove away. Upon reaching a nearby gas station, she screamed for help upon seeing a woman there.
Tiffany shares: “I found some more strength to open my window, my door and I hopped out to her and asked her, ‘Can you help? I’m shot, I’m dying and my kids are in the car. She said she couldn’t help me because she only had a two-seater and she was late for work. That hurt my heart a lot to hear her say that.”
Help at last
The seriously injured mum had to continue driving for many more miles till she finally spotted a police car.
Her husband Johnny Phommathep reportedly said that Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston helped her out. He says: “She crawled out, bleeding. If it wasn’t for him, my wife wouldn’t be here.”
Johnny Phommathep also shared that the six-year-old’s version of the whole incident was completely different. He told his father, “We went to school and someone shot us with paintballs. It hit my feet, and I need new shoes now.”
Neal was on a killing spree
Johnny Phommathep shared that the Phommatheps knew the Neal family as they were neighbours. Neal had got into fights many times with another neighbour Danyn Elliott and threaten to kill Elliott and his seven-year-old son. He said: “In the middle of the night, they’d get into screaming matches.”
Neal had killed his wife Barbara Glisan on 13th November and hid her body under the floor. Next morning he opened fire, killing 38-year-old Elliott and some others from the neighbourhood.
It’s incredible that Tiffany and her son managed to escape this clearly deranged man. Hats off to a very brave mum for showing such exemplary courage to protect her kids. Once a mum, always a mum!
Source: Your Tango
Images: Screengrabs from YouTube