KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A 13-year-old boy shot Thursday is recovering at a local hospital. The people who shot him are still on the run, so FOX4 is not using his name.
Once in critical condition, the boy is improving and very lucky to be alive.
"Bullets really don't have a name,” said the victim’s cousin, Jarien Darnell. “Literally they were going for his older cousin, and he was just an innocent bystander."
The boy, who turned 13 last week, had been at a KCK party hall with his family decorating for his big birthday blowout scheduled for Friday.
Instead of celebrating his birthday with friends, the family is celebrating the fact he survived the bullet that went in his back, ripped through his abdomen and missed his spine by millimeters.
"He didn't know at first. He thought it was a firework or something went off, and then he looked down and was like, ‘I’m bleeding,’" Darnell said.
The victim’s family said the boy was riding on a dirt bike with his older cousin, heading home after decorating the party hall. His cousin decided to take side streets through the neighborhood instead of riding down busy Independence Avenue.
When the two got to 61st and Nogard, they said a car pulled up, passed them and then someone inside opened fire. To get away from danger, they kept driving to 59th and Webster.
"They have no morals. Like, they don't care who they hurt. They didn't care about him in that moment. They still don't care about him now," Darnell said.
The family said although the boy is physically stable and recovering, they fear the emotional trauma will not be as easily cured.
"He goes to sleep for short periods of time, and then he waked up and he is like, ‘I saw the car. I saw them. I had a dream that someone had a gun,’" Darnell said. "A nurse could come in and wake him up out of his sleep, and he will be like, ‘Oh, I thought she was going to do something to me.' So he is having like PTSD from it."
Police believe there were several people in the car during the shooting. If you have any information that can help them put away the people who did this, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).