ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Arlydia Bufford remains in the hospital after being shot earlier this week at a St. John’s Applebee’s restaurant. The Hazelwood East High School graduate will have a long and expensive road back to health.
On Thursday, firefighters from all across the St. Louis area showed up at the Ferguson Brewing Company to raise money on her behalf.
“She’s recovering well. She is listed in critical but stable condition,” said Kinloch Fire Chief Kevin Stewart. “She underwent a procedure last night and the procedure went well.”
Bufford, 20, was one of three women shot Monday night inside the Applebee’s. She was with other first responders at the restaurant when a gunman opened fire around 9:20 p.m.
The suspect targeted two women sitting at a different table, killing one and wounding another, who is expected to survive. The gunman then shot Bufford moments later. She was raced to a local hospital inside a patrol car. A fire captain who was with her at the restaurant is credited with keeping her alive.
“(Bufford) can’t work. No telling how long the recovery will be, she will have expenses and medical bills,” Stewart said.
Ferguson Brewery was crowded inside; our cameras were not allowed inside due to social distancing rules. The owner was so busy he couldn’t stop to talk, but Chief Stewart said it was his idea to do the fundraiser.
“Out of the goodness of his heart, he reached out to us and said, ‘I want to do this for your firefighter and family.’ He organized this dine-in to donate event,” Stewart said.
Not only are firefighters showing up at events, but Chief Stewart’s has not stopped ringing with calls of support.
“Every fire chief in St. Louis County and St. Charles County has personally reached out and given words of encouragement and supported all the fundraising events,” he said.
The fundraiser runs until 9 p.m. and includes carryout orders.
On Sunday, June 28, Mattingly’s Embroidery in Overland will host a benefit barbecue. T-Shirts will be available for purchase and all proceeds will go toward Bufford’s medical expenses.
In addition, BackStoppers has stepped to help her family with her medical bills. Anyone interested in donating to the Bufford family may visit the following link.