Remembering Dayton shooting victim Derrick Fudge

Sherrie Fudge-Galloway’s brother Derrick Fudge was one of the nine people killed Sunday morning in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. She and Derrick both lived in Los Angeles for several years. 

“He would persevere through it all. He would just bounce back,” Sherrie said. “He had a hard life, but he wasn’t one to stay down long.”

She remembers him as a big heart, and said no matter how down he would get, he would always bounce back.

Derrick was an animal lover who nursed sick puppies no one else wanted back to health. “There was a blind puppy and nobody wanted it,” said Sherrie. “They were going to put it to sleep, and he refused. He said give him to me.” The dog was so well-trained, Sherrie said you couldn’t even tell he was blind. 

In fifth grade, Sherrie recalled Derrick fell and was hit by a train. He lost his toes, and doctors told him he’d never walk again. 

“This is it, this is your life now,” Sherrie recalled the doctors saying. “And he said, ‘No, it’s not.’ And within a matter of months he gave up the wheelchair, he threw down the crutches, and he was on his feet.”

Originally from upstate New York, Sherrie, Derrick, and their four other siblings moved to Ohio as children. Many of them now live across the country. Derrick lived in Los Angeles for about six years in the 1990s. 

Because the family is spread out, they had gathered Saturday for a reunion in Ohio. Sherrie couldn’t attend, and early Sunday morning, her youngest brother called with the news. 

“I was just devastated,” she said after learning her brother had been shot. “I’m still numb from it all. It’s really hard.”

Her faith in Christ is what she says keeps her grounded as she tries to wrap her mind around it. She says it’s unimaginable that so many other families are grieving in this same way. 

“This is happening more and more, I mean this was back to back. One in El Paso and then this one [in Dayton]. What’s next? What do we do? What can we?” Sherrie asked. “For me, I pray, and I stand up for what’s right. That’s all I know to do.”