Heartbroken mother makes emotional plea after son shot at Popeyes

She says her son Michael doesn't have health insurance and is pleading for help to pay his medical bills.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A heartbroken mother whose daughter-in-law was killed and son riddled with bullets at a DeKalb County Popeyes says it's a miracle her son is alive.

Donna White reached out to Channel 2's Rikki Klaus Saturday night. Her son, Michael, was shot multiple times when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire in the fast-food chain Oct 22. He's recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital. White asked Channel 2 Action News not to use Michael's last name for fear of more violence.

White's daughter-in-law, Alisha Watkins-Stephens, was killed.

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White left her son's bedside at the hospital for just a few minutes to talk to Klaus. White said she was at her Stockbridge home Tuesday when she got a call from Grady Hospital that changed her life.

"She said, 'Well I just wanted to let you know that we took the tube out of his mouth.' And I said, 'What tube? What's going on?'"

Michael was in the intensive care unit. White said four bullet's hit Michael in the face and another three hit his arm. Alisha, Michael's wife of just two weeks, didn't make it.

“Alisha, her angel had to come and take her home to Heaven," White said. "But he left my son here for a reason. I know that because it's a straight miracle that where (the bullets hit him), he's not in Heaven right now too."

Police arrested 19-year-old Carol Rodriguez in shooting. Police have not been able to determine a motive.


White says she can forgive, but wants Rodriguez to pay for what he's done.

"I just want to make sure that the person who has done this, the person who murdered my brand new daughter-in-law and almost murdered my son, I want to make sure he stays in jail forever," White said.

White wants people to pray for her son, who she said is a kind and hardworking landscaper who very much loved his wife. She said she's struggling to pay the mounting medical bills.

"The thing is, he doesn't have any heath insurance," White said. "And so we've started a GoFundMe page for him to try to help us get through this.

Michael has facial reconstruction surgery scheduled for next week.

You can help this family by donating to their GoFundMe.