Girl shot in the chest helped out of mall by friend

Girl shot in the chest helped out of mall by friend

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Kristina Shevchenko was the only shooting victim to survive in Clackamas Town Center on Tuesday afternoon, and a teenage friend helped her get out of the mall alive.

Shevchenko, 15, was shot in the chest, and on Friday she was upgraded to fair condition at Oregon Health & Science University.

Shevchenko's friend Alyona Chukhrii told her story for the first time Friday how she and Shevchenko were walking through the mall after school like they always do to get to the MAX stop when their world turned upside down.

"I saw something out of the corner of my eye that was not normal," Chukhrii said as she and Shevchenko walked by Macy's.

That something was a man with a gun.

"I first thought it was a joke," Chukhrii said. "I thought he was just trying to scare people. But after he started shooting the first bullets, I didn't want to believe he was actually trying to kill someone, but my gut was like, take her and run.

"When we hid, we saw a man fall, and he died in front of us.

"When we hid, she started telling me that her side hurts like really badly. I didn't want to believe that she got shot, but when I checked her sweater she had a few holes in there, and I knew that she got shot. I told her, 'We have to get up; we have to get you into the back alley, and we have to get you someone for emergency so you can be treated.

"Kristina couldn't walk any more. She was in really bad pain."

At last help arrived and with a bullet wound to the chest, her lung collapsed and her liver bruised, Shevchenko was taken to the hospital.

Chukhrii is happy Shevchenko is alive but she also feels guilt that can come with this kind of tragedy.

"I'm thankful that God helped us out and that he's the only one that could have saved her life and saved mine. But on one side, I still think I should have protected her and tried to help her not get shot," the 16-year-old said.

Shevchenko and Chukhrii both come from Russian speaking families and Friday afternoon Chukhrii read a statement in Russian thanking everyone in the community for their help, their thoughts and prayers.