FD: Mo. FF shot in head is off ventilator, speaking
The New Kinloch Fire Protection District said the community has rallied around Firefighter Arlydia Bufford and her condition has improved
By Laura French
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri firefighter who was shot in the head during a fatal triple shooting at a restaurant last week is now off of a ventilator and is aware and speaking, according to an update from her department.
New Kinloch Fire Protection District Firefighter Arlydia Bufford, 20, is currently in critical but stable condition, according to the Tuesday morning update. Bufford is "awake and knows who she is, where she is, and what happened to her," according to the agency.
"She was even alert enough to ask her mom to bring her some black socks!!" the department said in its Facebook post. "Keep the prayers coming, they are working!"
The Kinloch and St. Louis-area community has rallied around Bufford following the shooting at an Applebee's that left her and another woman, Lakisha French, seriously injured and a third woman, Kimberly Ratliff-Penton, 46, dead last Tuesday. A suspect, Courtney Demond Washington, 28, is charged with first-degree murder, assault and armed criminal action in the shooting.
A barbecue fundraiser held over the weekend, which was co-sponsored by a local nonprofit and small business, raised more than $15,000 for Bufford's medical expenses, according to a Facebook post shared by the department.
Additionally, a brother and sister team have raised more than $3,000 by setting up a roadside lemonade stand to raise money for the wounded firefighter, according to Fox News. Cooper Wallweber, 5, and his older sister Olivia Boyer said they were touched by Bufford's story and wanted to do something to help the first responder, according to Boyer.
Here is a video from Fox & Friends interview this morning regarding Cooper’s lemonade stand for Arlyida! #ARLYDIASTRONGPosted by The New Kinloch Fire Protection District on Sunday, June 28, 2020
The New Kinloch Fire Protection District said in an earlier update last week that Bufford underwent two surgeries to repair the bullet hole and place a shunt, and that both operations were successful. The agency has launched a "Cards for Arlydia" initiative for community members to write letters of encouragement to cheer Bufford up as she faces a "long and trying" road to recovery.
Ratliff-Penton, 46, who was killed in the shooting, was a close friend of Bufford, Fox News reported.