ALLEN (CBSNewsTexas.com) — When you meet Irvin Walker, you'll know right away he's a man anchored by faith.
After all, his faith led him to Texas in 2021 after raising his only daughter in Louisiana. He says he moved to Dallas for "peace."
But his pursuit of peace was obstructed when gun shots rang out on the still, warm day of May 6, 2023.
After working 60 hours that week, Walker spent his only day off searching for a Mother's Day gift for his girlfriend.
"I said, 'Let's go to the outlet and see if we can find it and if we don't, we'll just buy it directly from the store,'" he recalled.
When they arrived at the outdoor mall, the crowded parking lot prompted Walker to drop off his girlfriend near the storefronts so she could get a head start.
The two had plans to meet two other couples that night, but they never made it. Walker never even made it to a parking spot.
"I was traveling on the road and that's when I felt impact," he said.
Firey tips of cast iron and metal were whizzing through his car—pricking and piercing his skin over and over.
"I was like, 'Whoa, what is that?' And then I saw blood spilling over my gear shaft," Walker said. "And then I looked up and saw someone with what I believe has been determined an AR-15 shooting in my direction. I ducked down with my head close to the gear shaft."
To this day, he still doesn't know how many wounds he has. "How many wounds do I have? I mean it's too many to count. I've heard 50, I've heard 100."
Walker says God was his first responder.
Nicole Baker: At the moment you realized you were shot, when you were still in the car, are you hearing gunshots? What can you remember about what you can see and hear in that moment?
"I'm just constantly praying," he said. "I don't recall hearing anything specific, but I just know—by his stripes I am healed."
As the verses of the Bible guide, Walker prayed without ceasing, eventually making his way out of the car.
"I was just running with my hands covering my wounds, and I saw a gentleman [who] has been proven to be Christian [Lacour]."
Lacour, a security officer working the mall that day, called for help. It was the last thing he did before he was killed by the gunman. "It's traumatizing. As I'm telling you [Nicole Baker] the story, I can see the people on the ground, I can see the facial expression of Christian when he was looking to assist me...you know, just in shock."
Passing by the innocent bodies scattered around him, Walker hid in a dressing room closet. And as he watched his blood continue to drain out of his body, he knew he needed help. "If I stay here, I'm gonna bleed out. Bottom line."
In due time, nearby officers helped him to an ambulance.
Through the waves of shock and sirens, Walker says his faith sustained him.
"You lay hands on the sick; they shall be healed. I'm just in my world I would say. Just knowing that I need help. And the higher power is probably more protective than any human being can be."
He says looking back, he's shocked at how calm he was through the chaos. "I can only give glory to God, knowing that he brought that calmness to me."
Today, nearly three months later, Walker is still figuring out how and what he feels, along with what it all means. And one person has stayed by his side throughout it all—his daughter, Jazmine.
NB: How has your daughter been supportive of you through this?
"Knowing that she could be doing other things as a 24-year-old...she often times puts me first," He said. "The ultimate love of a daughter is incredible."
And as he fights through an uncertain recovery, Walker says he's proud to have brought hope down the halls of the hospital.
Nonetheless, his day-to-day life is harder now.
Simple things like sleeping through the night don't come easy or often.
"The other day, my scab on one my wounds came off and my shirt was leaking so I had to do some wound care on that," Walker shared. "I can't be in the sun [or] warm places for too long...it irritates me. The shrapnel, although the medical center did an incredible job with my wounds, I have shrapnel coming out of my skin. And I feel that. That can be painful."
His injuries are also stopping him from working; however, the bills are still coming. "In my industry, we work 10-hour days in front of a computer. I don't think that my shoulder is completely healed to where I can type for long periods of time."
But with each step toward wholeness, Walker's healing is powered by uplifting others.
"We need more of that in our world. With all the violence and unrest in our country, I'll be more than happy to be used in that manner," he said. "Whatever it takes. Speaking to someone, encouraging someone, or just being God's vessel. However, I'm called to be used."
Through the fog and complicated feelings of surviving when eight other victims didn't, Walker's purpose is as clear to him as the sky was on the day his life changed forever. "To give love every time you get an opportunity. Because you never know how you postively impact people."
NB: You didn't know it at the time, but you encountered a version of the devil. If you could've said anything to him, would you?
"Evil will not win," Walker said. "Evil will not win."
He shared that he thinks of those who didn't make it home that day, often praying for their families.
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