NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn boy is struggling to recover from a shooting that could leave him in a wheelchair for life.
He’s one of several innocent victims who were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“He had a nightmare last night. He said, ‘Grandma, grandma, I had a dream that I got shot and I was in the hospital.’ And I said, ‘That’s not a dream, it actually happened,” said Bessie Watson-Grant, the grandmother of 11-year-old Jayden Gant.
She says her grandson was supposed to be graduating from fifth grade last week, but the day before he was struck by a stray bullet.
Doctors told her the injury could leave him paralyzed from the waist down.
“He asked me why he can’t feel his legs. I said you will. Think positively, you will. We are going to do a lot of rehab,” Watson-Grant said.
Watson-Grant, 53, is a nurse, and told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge her grandson will probably have lifelong health issues after that bullet him in the chest last week.
She says Jayden was waiting outside for his dad to get a haircut when a man fired into the street at the corner of Lincoln Place and Schenectady Avenue. His grandfather says Jayden’s dad was devastated he couldn’t protect him.
“He said his dad wasn’t wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t doing well, crying,” said Jayden’s grandfather Leon Grant. “He said ‘You know dad,’ his father’s name is Justice Grant, he said ‘It’s not your fault.'”
The stray bullet struck another innocent bystander: A 31-year-old man was shot in the knee. Police arrested and charged Angel Eaddy, 27, a known Bloods gang member. He’s being held on $500,000 bail.
Community advocate Tony Herbert says there needs to be a crackdown on illegal guns.
“There has to be some type of penalty that these folks will identify with. And we’ve always supported the thought process that at least 10-year mandatory minimum of anybody with an illegal handgun in our city,” Herbert said.
In the past three weeks, at least 10 people have been shot by stray bullets in eight incidents. One victim died, nine others were injured.
- June 4 – 15-year-old girl shot in thigh while sitting on basketball court bench in Bushwick, Brooklyn
- June 5 – 7-year-old boy shot in leg while walking home from school with his grandmother in Mott Haven, the Bronx
- June 5 – Two women, ages 74 and 82, grazed inside Laurelton, Queens home
- June 7 – East Harlem woman shot in arm
- June 10 – Man, 40, shot and killed while walking his dog in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
- June 12 – Woman, 39, shot in arm while walking to work in Allerton, the Bronx
- June 20 – 11-year-old boy and 31-year-old man shot on sidewalk in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
- June 20 – Man, 20, shot in neck while sitting inside car near gas station in East New York, Brooklyn
- June 23 – Three people were shot in an incident at 166th Street and Findlay Avenue in the Bronx. At least one of them was an innocent bystander
On Sunday, three people were shot in the concourse section of the Bronx at 166th Street and Findlay Avenue. Investigators say it appears at least one was random.
As for Jayden, his grandparents hope his story strikes a chord for change.
“Small steps, but we take that he’s alive, that’s the main thing,” Watson-Grant said.
The family says Jayden’s school will be holding a fifth grade graduation ceremony for him in his hospital room.
There’s a GoFundMe for Jayden. To contribute, click here.