[Guest post by DRJ]
Seven-year-old Alexis Goggins has overcome a lot in her brief life. Alexis is a special education student due to complications from a massive stroke suffered as an infant. Doctors said she would have trouble with tasks like writing, but despite that she has learned to write her name.
This weekend, Alexis, her mother Sieletha Parker, and family friend Aisha Ford were abducted by Calvin Tillie, her mother’s former boyfriend. Tillie shot Alexis’ mother in the head and arm, and Alexis is recovering in the hospital from six point-blank gunshot wounds she received trying to protect her mother:
“The drama began to unfold just before midnight Saturday, when Parker called Ford and asked if she and Alexis could spend the night at Ford’s home. “She said she had no heat and they were very cold, and I said , sure I’ll come and get you,” Ford said.
Ford said she drove her burgundy 1998 Ford Expedition to Parker’s home on Dwyer. She said as Parker and Alexis walked up to her vehicle she saw a man on the porch, who she assumed was a furnace repairman. She said Alexis, who walks with a limp, slipped momentarily on the icy sidewalk and as she helped the girl up, she saw the man and recognized him as Tillie. He was holding a gun.
Tillie ordered them into the vehicle, cursed at the women and angrily told Ford to drive him to Six Mile Road, she said. “He looked like he was enraged and didn’t care what he did. I knew if we went to Six Mile, he would kill us,” Ford said. Instead, she told him she needed gas and drove to the Fast Stop Gas station in the 5000 block of East Seven Mile Road, a station that requires customers to pay the attendant inside.
“I figured if he got out to pump the gas, I was going to take off,” Ford said. Instead, Tillie gave her $10 and told her put in $5 worth of gas.
Ford said she dialed 911 on her cell phone as she walked into the station. “The first operator clicked off and I dialed again and told that operator a guy with a gun was holding me hostage with a mother and baby and threatening to kill us. I told her the name of the gas station and then she said they didn’t have a unit to send.”
Ford said she paid for $5 of gas and slowly returned to the vehicle, stalling for time as she handed Tillie the change. She said she kept stopping and starting the pump, hoping the police would show up.
“I told him I needed more gas and took money out of my purse and went back into the station,” she said. The attendant, Mohammad Alghazali, 30, said he noticed Ford was crying and she told him what was happening. He called 911 as he heard shots coming from the vehicle.
“It was very scary. She (Ford) was scared and screaming when the guy was shooting. I was scared, too. I was on the phone talking to the police when he started shooting,” he said.
Parker told police that Tillie said Ford was taking too long. She said she pleaded with him but he pointed the gun at her and shot her in the side of the head. She told police she was shot in the arm as she lunged at Tillie. Before Tillie could fire again, Alexis jumped over the seat between her mother and the gunman and begged him not to shoot her mother.
The police report said Tillie “without hesitation” pumped six shots into the child.
As police arrived, they saw Parker, covered in blood, running from the truck, screaming, “He just shot my baby.”
The officers said Tillie came out to the vehicle holding a blue steel 9 mm semi automatic and dropped the weapon when ordered to do so. Officers said they found Alexis huddled on the floor under the steering wheel, covered in blood, surrounded by spent cartridge casings, a spent bullet on the floor and teeth on the seat. There were bullet holes in the windshield and blood inside.”
Marvin Bodley, a Detroit public schools attendance agent who spent two days at Alexis’ bedside (kudos to him), described Alexis as a “courageous, courageous little girl” and added “You see more bandages than child,” he said. “It’s a horrific sight.”
Alexis is a special child and a real hero.