Father of Cara Johns speaks on her condition after Dadeville shooting

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 8:49 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Multiple people still remain in the hospital in critical condition after a deadly mass shooting took place in Dadeville during a sweet 16 birthday party that left four dead and 32 injured… during the investigation, six people were charged with four counts each of reckless murder…

“They were so unsure about the head wounds that they didn’t think she was going to make it,” said Father Justin Johns.

That was the first news Justin Johns received about his daughter Cara. Where just hours before, he was sending her off to her junior year prom… later that night he would find himself driving to multiple hospitals to find out his daughter might not survive….after being shot three times at her friend Alexis Dowdells sweet 16 birthday party...

Johns said bullets went through her stomach, chest and head. He said she and some friends had planned to attend the prom and then head to the party together after... where things took a turn for the worse.

“As of now, she can’t speak at all,” said Johns.

“So the last time you spoke with her was when she was going off to prom?” asked East Alabama reporter Reagan Ranzer.

“I sent her a text 3 o’clock the next day telling her I put some gas in her car and left her my debit card. She sent back ok, Dad love you. That was about it. That was the last time I talked to her,” said Johns.

Cara Johns a junior at Reeltown High School, is described as shy but a loving individual. Her father said after her mother died 10 years ago, Cara had to mature at a young age to help take care of her little sister.

“She was responsible. She had to follow to the role of the being the big sister and the mom,” he said.

John said the bullet that went through her head penetrated her brain. Cara is currently in a medically induced coma to allow her brain not to think and instead rest... to decrease the swelling.

“When her swelling comes down, they are going to stop the sedation, and then she is going to wake up from the coma,” said Johns.

The doctor tells John that this is only phase one of a long journey to recovery for Cara.

“It’s really hard to see her just sitting there with all the tubes coming out of her head. She’s got so many lines. They got about eight lines running into her giving her medication, a lot of fluid, a lot of blood draining out of her,” said Johns. “It’s hard to see your child like that. It really is.”

Every day Johns said Cara is fighting for her life.

“In my daughter’s journal that she wrote right here, she put down today’s bible verse give thanks to all circumstances…pray continuously and rejoice in always. That prayer continuously what I focus on because I know that’s what’s had got her to this point. She wrote that down the day before this happen.”

If you would like to help donate towards medical bills for Cara Johns, click here.

“We do not know what the future holds for our Cara. She has miles and miles to go before complete healing occurs, doctor visits, lengthy rehabilitation treatments, counseling, and more. Cara is a junior in high school, a cheerleader, and a worker in a local restaurant. We pray she will someday be able to return to her life before this unbelievable tragedy. We cannot begin to assess the length of treatments or the financial costs of these, but we have hope that as long as we have our Cara alive, we will be able to make it,” reads her gofundme.