‘Buried them under my arms for safety’ Mother of child shot at Springfield Speedway runs from chaos

SPRINGFIELD — The mother of a 7-year-old girl hurt in a shooting at a Speedway in Springfield said her family will have lasting impacts after a gunman opened fire over the weekend.

Amy Lafferty, of Springfield, was with her twins when the gunfire erupted both outside and inside the station on South Burnett Road Saturday afternoon.

>> $1 million bond for suspect in shooting at Springfield gas station that killed 1, hurt 3 others

“As I was walking in I seen the shooter come behind me and started shooting,” Lafferty told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

She grabbed her kids, darted toward the bathroom and “buried them under my arms for safety.”

“I heard him say I’m not going anywhere. That we’re not going anywhere. So, I stood there and froze,” Lafferty said.

Emil Witherspoon, 44, was arrested Tuesday morning for aggravated murder and other charges in connection to the shooting. A magistrate set his bond at $1 million Tuesday.

Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll said his office will meet with Springfield Police to discuss the case as they prepare to present it to a grand jury. The death penalty is possibly an option for the case, Driscoll said.

>> Woman shot at Springfield Speedway feared for her safety; suspect previously charged

Witherspoon is accused of killing Antoine Crooks, 32, of Westerville, Ohio and critically injuring his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Brugler. A 6-year-old boy also was shot in the vehicle Crooks and Brugler came to the gas station in and has been released from the hospital, according to Springfield police and his family.

Lafferty’s daughter, an innocent bystander, was also hit by the gunfire. They didn’t realize she had been hit until they started running for safety.

“I believe it was inside the building. She was complaining about her leg hurting when I left, when I was running,” Lafferty said.

The lasting impact of the trauma Lafferty and her children experienced will be with them forever. They already are seeking help.

“It’s affected me a lot. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m having nightmares. I’m losing sleep. I can’t eat,” Lafferty said. “My kids have to see a counselor now. And I have to see a counselor to talk about what happened.”

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