GREENWOOD— Delanie Brewer can’t get the sounds and images of the Greenwood Park Mall shooting out of her head.
Brewer had just turned 18 and was at the mall doing some shopping with her boyfriend on July 17, 2022 when a shooter opened fire in the food court.
“I heard shots ring out,” said Brewer. “It was just complete silence for .5 seconds. We watched everybody’s head turn, and then the screams and the stampede that ensued after that.”
Brewer and her boyfriend ran to a parking lot, not where their car was parked, and took cover in a stranger’s vehicle.
“The shots continued and we didn’t know which ones were good shots and which ones were bad shots,” said Brewer.
Brewer later learned the shooter was fatally shot by an armed civilian named Elishja Dicken, 22.
Dicken would later be honored by the City of Greenwood for his heroic actions.
“Regardless of any political belief, I believe Eli Dicken saved my life but many others,” said Brewer. “I’m extremely grateful towards him.”
Brewer said she thought about getting shot or dying as she was running out of the mall.
“All I can really see is my tunnel vision and me looking at my shoes and my green socks, and I just see myself running,” said Brewer. “I felt like, it was like a pressure on my chest.”
Brewer did not see the actual shooting, but is traumatized by hearing the gunshots and having to run out of the mall with hundreds of other people.
“I still have nightmares,” said Brewer. “I don’t think I will ever be in a place where I’m comfortable enough to go back to that mall in particular. I haven’t been inside any mall since.”
She does not like to go places where she can be separated from her friends.
“There’s definitely times now where I will hear a crash or I’ll be at work and someone is clanking silverware together and it will bring me back,” said Brewer. “I can’t expect the world to adapt for me. I have to adapt with the world. That’s definitely something I am still working on.”