13-year-old girl undergoes several surgeries after Walmart shooting

From Aiken, to Florida, and all over the country — hundreds of people on Facebook are #AshtonStrong.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Tributes are pouring in for the 13-year-old recovering after being shot at an Aiken Walmart.

After news broke of the shooting, strangers from across the U.S. have flooded social media to send thoughts and prayers to Ashton and her family.

From Aiken, to Florida, and all over the country — hundreds of people on Facebook are #AshtonStrong.

Ashton Rickard’s family have been active on social media providing updates for the hundreds of people praying and showing support.

The latest update around 3 p.m. on Friday said she is “doing fantastic.” The post says the doctors were able to repair the artery, reattach the bowel, and she will have an open abdomen for it to heal.

Now the Aiken community is finding ways to show their support for the young girl.

She’s a fighter, and she’s strong. Those are just two ways people describe her.

She’s everything you look for in a player on and off the court. She’s got great grit, desire, and will to learn the game. And off the court, she’s a very selfless person,” said Michael McKie, volleyball coach.

Loved by everyone who knows her, especially those who coached and mentored her, like the owner of her old dance studio.


“She’s a bubbly kid, a sassy kid, everyone that knows Ashton ... friends and family just loves being around her,” said Corey Burns, Burns Dance Studio owner.

or someone so loved, it’s the call no one ever expects.

McKie said: “It was very devastating. I first heard about it from my wife. She was hysterical and just screaming. It hurts your heart to find out that someone so sweet would be hurt like that.”

Making those who know her want to do more.

Burns said: “Any place that’s gonna involve children, you want to have a place where they know that they’re safe. Most of us have security cameras, and you have faith that you’re gonna be able to live your life safely. With little instances like this, it changes the norm.”

And as the community shows an outpouring of love for her, her coach says it’s a reflection of how she treats others.

McKie said: “She worries about us more than she does herself. In between matches, she’s wondering if the coaches have food, if everything’s being taken care of.”

Balloons and gifts from her teammates sit ready for her to send the message ...

“We love you, Ashton. Get better soon.”

Stephen Foreman, 32, is accused of shooting the young girl. He’s in jail without bond. Officers say Foreman is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon. His first court appearance is expected to be on August 11.