ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Kia Thomas is one of four female college students wounded by gunfire during a back to school event in the Atlanta University Center and she spoke publicly for the first time Friday morning.
"I want all of the students of the Atlanta University Center to be encouraged. We cannot let this tarnish our college experience or the AUC," the 19-year-old Clark Atlanta Communications Major said.
Investigators say it happened during a kick-off block party attended by about two hundred people at James P Brawley Drive SW and Beckwith St. SW near the Atlanta University Center. The party was taking place in front of the library at the AUC.
Thomas said she was at the party with a friend when she heard a loud bang and then felt a pain in her abdomen. When she heard the second pop that's when she and her friends started running.
"We cannot allow one unfortunate event cause us to be afraid. We cannot allow another human, we cannot allow another careless act of gun violence, and we cannot allow another hateful act to cause us to live in fear," an emotional Thomas said Friday before class. "We have to live by faith, not by fear. This does not define us," she said.
Thomas went on to tell FOX 5's Natalie Fultz, that the three other students who were shot were doing well.
Clark Atlanta University Freshman, Erin Ennis, was also shot at the party, but decided to return to school.
Her mother, Emily Ennis, said she supports her daughter's decision to return to school.
"I'm not nervous about that, we choose not to live in fear. Our faith provides for situations like that. God forbid something happens to anyone's child, but you have to have faith that it's not going to be a life-threatening situation. It's just the world we live in," said Emily Ennis.
So far no arrests have been made.
Clark Atlanta police are assisting Atlanta police with the investigation.