For Christina Goodwin, Dell City’s Patriot Park fountain is a special place. Because that’s where she brings her high school daughter Dishali.
“I would take her and her cousin here and they would just sit and listen to the waterfall,” she said.
After the shooting at a soccer game in Choctaw on Friday night, the couple needed peace and quiet more than ever. “The screams I heard and the screams and cries I heard keep playing in my head,” she said.
Her daughter, a member of the Del City band’s color guards, was looking forward to her first high school football game as a freshman. “I was very excited,” said Dishali. “I’m just hanging out with my friends and meeting football players and people from other bands.”
As she was getting ready to perform in the stands, she suddenly heard gunshots. “I heard two gunshots,” she said.
Dishari said he hid under the bleachers with other band members, found a phone and called his mother. “I was scared of her and I really wanted to hug her,” she said.
“As a parent, I want to protect my children, but I was in a position where I felt like I couldn’t protect her, so it hurt me a lot,” she said.
So they prayed on the phone and eventually reunited hours later in the parking lot of Dell City High School.
“She still looked frightened the first night,” Christina said. “For the first two nights, she had a hard time sleeping.”
“It happened so quickly that I don’t know what happened. It’s hard to go to sleep thinking about it,” Dishari said.
Disari went to school on Monday to see a counselor provided by the Middell School District.
“I was happy to see friends who I hadn’t been able to see because I was worried after the incident,” she said.
Looking ahead, Christina wants change. “I hope they will introduce additional safety measures such as metal detectors,” she said.
We also hope to create a hotline where students can feel comfortable reporting suspicious activity. “Only what they feel comfortable reporting,” she says. “Sometimes they worry that they will retaliate if they speak up.”
While the mother and daughter continue to recover mentally, they continue to pray for the family of victim Cody Carter.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones and we wish them well,” Dishari said.
Dishali said this wouldn’t stop her from joining the band and said she was going to the next match.