Father of innocent teen shot outside Center graduation glad suspects are in custody

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two metro men are now facing charges in a shooting outside Center High School's graduation at a Leawood church. Now, the father of one of the two people injured hopes justice will be served.

Center High School had just wrapped up its graduation ceremony May 17 at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood when the shooting happened in the parking lot. Two people were hurt. One was 18-year-old David Ezeugo, a recent graduate who was an innocent bystander.

“He said, 'I'm shot! Dad, I`m shot!'” Ezeugo's father told FOX4's Melissa Stern.

Damon Gwinn. left, and Rasheed Henderson

On Tuesday, 21-year-old Damon Gwinn was arrested and later charged with one count of aggravated battery in connection to the shooting. Rasheed Henderson, 20, was also charged with fleeing and eluding police.

“Yeah, it was bad. I heard a gunshot," Ezeugo's father said. "It sounded like they were fireworks, and suddenly my boy said, 'I`m shot!' And I said, 'No, it`s not you.' And then eventually I saw the blood coming out, called 911. The police came and took him to the hospital. It was really a big shock."

His father said the 18-year-old had just graduated from Center High School.

“He went for graduation, and after graduation, we were about to leave, and he was shot,” Ezeugo’s father said.

Leawood police said there were off-duty officers at the graduation. They were responding to a fight in the parking lot when they heard gun shots in a different area of the parking lot.

“People were just running for their safety,” Ezeugo’s father said.

Police saw an SUV take off, and while trying to pull them over, police said they tried to get away. The SUV was later found abandoned.

Ezeugo’s father said his son was walking away from the building when he was shot.

“Very close to his shoulder,” he said. “Oh yeah, he was in pain for about two to three months.”

He's now in college in Columbia, Missouri, and his father said he's doing very well.

A second person, who was not a Center High School student, was also injured and taken to the hospital in a private car. He also survived the shooting.

Ezeugo's father is simply happy the alleged suspects are in custody now.

"It`s fine that they got them because if they were not able to get them, they would have gone to shoot someone else. So it`s good they got them,” he said. “All we know is that justice should take its place.”

The Center School District also sent the following statement:

"We were sad to see something so tragic happen on such a special evening for our Center students and Center families. We are thankful all of our recent graduates are okay. We would like to once again thank our center family, Church of the Resurrection and community for their outpouring of love and support."

Gwinn and Henderson will be back in court on Aug. 30.

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