Leslie King, left, and Tenille Beseda carry flowers to place at the entrance… (Greg Wahl-Stephens / Associated…)
The surviving victim of the Oregon mall shooting is awake and talking with her family, but is still in serious condition, a surgeon who treated her said Wednesday.
Kristina Shevchenko, 15, had an assault rifle wound to her chest, a collapsed lung and was bleeding when she arrived at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland on Tuesday, Dr. Laszlo Kiraly said at a news conference.
Kiraly said that the teenager’s injuries were more consistent with wounds found in the military or police force because of the blast impact the shooter’s AR-15 semiautomatic rifle created.
“In the civilian world, these are less common,” he said.
Kristina was walking through the Clackamas Town Center on her way to a mass transit station when the gunman opened fire around 3:30 p.m. Kristina routinely walks through the mall in the afternoon on her way from school to her home, the family told NBC. She is a freshman at Clackamas Middle College, a charter school in the North Clackamas School District, her family said.
Kiraly said doctors recovered bullet fragments from Kristina, who suffered significant injuries to her lung and liver but underwent a successful surgery Tuesday night.
“These were serious, life-threatening injuries,” Kiraly said.
She is still at risk of infection and complications, he said, but added that he was “optimistic” for a full recovery. He said he expected the teenager to remain in the hospital for a “week or so.”
“There is going to be a significant rehabilitation, but she is very young and healthy and … she is a fighter,” he said.
Kristina had been close to danger before, her family told NBC, when she was a passenger in a van that was involved in a traffic accident in August. An Oregon man, who later died from his injuries, had allowed his pickup truck to cross a center line, hitting the van.
Her parents later released a statement to the media, thanking emergency responders and staffers at the Clackamas Town Center.
“We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of the other shooting victims. Our prayers are with them at this terrible time,” Veniamin and Olga Shevchenko said in the statement.
They said their daughter “informed us today that the first person to be thanked is Alyona, her friend and schoolmate ... who immediately called 911 and remained by her side until the emergency service providers arrived.”
The family has created a Facebook page to give updates on Kristina’s condition and provide information on how people can contribute money to help pay for her medical expenses.
Times staff writer Michael Muskal contributed to this report.
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