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Parents give update on 14-year-old Kalamazoo survivor

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The condition of a 14-year-old girl is improving, more than a week after she survived a mass shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Vickie Kopf posted an update about her daughter on Facebook. She says Abigail Kopf's ventilator was removed Sunday and that she's breathing on her own.

Abigail was outside a Kalamazoo-area restaurant when she was shot in the head on Feb. 20. Six people were killed - four at the restaurant and two at a car dealership. Another victim shot at an apartment building survived.

Jason Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder.

Funerals and memorial services were held over the weekend. The last was held Sunday at a Battle Creek church to honor Mary Jo Nye, a retired teacher who was killed at the restaurant.

Kopf was initially believed to have been killed in the shooting.

Michigan State Police say she was a passenger in a car Mary Jo Nye was driving. Vickie Kopf said Barbara Hawthorne, another passenger in the car who was killed, was a grandmother figure to Abigail, and the pair were regularly hanging out together.

Abigail's heart beat stopped during initial attempts to save her life, but it was restored. An organ donation service was contacted with her parents' permission, though she was never declared medically brain dead.

Her parents were making arrangements to donate her organs when the girl squeezed her mother's hand.

Kopf told CBS affiliate WWMT the sensation of having her hand squeezed was "breathtaking."

"They then called in the doctor and he asked her a question and wanted a thumbs-up in response," state police said last week. "And she gave him two thumbs up. It's a glimmer of hope in this otherwise tragic situation."


The Battle Creek Community Foundation is accepting donations to help the Kopf family cover medical expenses.