CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - One family is just beginning their struggle.
A teenager is in physical therapy after he was shot and paralyzed by an apparent gang member nearly two weeks ago. His mother says the unprovoked shooting has now created a monumental challenge for a boy known for his positive attitude and good spirit.
“It was just terrible that one bullet changed his life forever,” mom said.
A mother who fears being identified talked with FOX 32 about her son, Jonathan, who just days ago became an innocent victim to gun violence.
“April 10th. Probably about 1 a.m. We had all been out together as a family as is always the case. We were all kind of tucked into bed when he realized he didn't have his phone charger. So he ran out to one of our vehicles that were parked out front to retrieve it,” mom said.
The tight knit family had just returned to their Little Village home after a Chicago Wolves game.
“He was probably out there three minutes while he sat in the passenger seat and rummaged through the car to find it, and a shooter, an individual, came up and said to him, 'what's up little homie. Run that. West Side' and then opened fire on him while he was in the vehicle,” mom said.
At that moment, life as Jonathan knew it had changed.
“He was shot at about 7 times. One of the bullets entered his left shoulder, crossed his left lung, severed his spinal cord, went through his right lung and the bullet is currently lodged in his arm pit,” mom said. "He immediately couldn’t walk. He tried to run and was unable to and fell out of the car.”
On the ground, he was able to use his cell phone to call his brother for help.
"He was taken to a trauma center where we received the devastating news that he is in fact paralyzed,” mom said.
Jonathan was paralyzed from the chest down. The young man who ran cross country for his school, played baseball for his school, and coached is now confined to a hospital bed and wheelchair.
“With that being said, we are eternally grateful that he is still with us and instead of planning a funeral that day, he's still with us,” mom said.
She said she never thought this would happen to her son, or her family.
“The hardest part for us when it happened was the fact that Jonathan has no gang affiliations. While we live in Little Village, we don't hang out in Little Village,” mom said.
She’s asking for prayers, and for people who saw anything to come forward.
"For other families that might potentially go through the same thing we're going through, it would be good to get him off of the street, but essentially our message is that we ask for prayers for our son,” mom said.
Police are looking for a dark skinned Hispanic male between 18 and 23 years old who’s about 5-foot-8. He was described as wearing two large diamond earrings in each ear, facial hair around the chin area and a buzz haircut. He was also wearing a black Nike hooded sweatshirt and was in a dark colored mini-van.
If you saw or know anything about the shooting, call police.