Brooklyn boy Jayden Grant, 11, was injured on June 20 along with a 31-year-old man, by a gunman who was targeting another individual, reported ABC 7.
According to reports, the gunman allegedly missed his intended target, who was around 50 feet away when he opened fire around 7 p.m. on Schenectady Avenue in Crown Heights last week.
Speaking to ABC 7, the boy’s grandmother, Bessie Watson-Grant, 53, said Jayden suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and remains in ICU, with the bullet lodged in his back’s soft tissue, but added that he is alert and talking.
The night before his 5th-grade graduation, Jayden Grant, the student of a dear friend, was getting his haircut for the ceremony when he was shot on his Brooklyn block. Please say a prayer for him, and if you are able, support his recovery via @gofundme https://t.co/3tTWuVbvhy
— Rachel Van Brocklin (@rachvanbrocklin) 23 June 2019
Due to swelling from the bullet hitting his spine, it is still too soon for doctors to pinpoint whether Jayden will suffer from long-term damage, Watson-Grant said.
However, she explained that her grandson complained he couldn’t feel his legs.
“He not out of the woods yet, but he’s making strides to come out of the woods,” she said. “Right now, he has no lower body sensation. He said, ‘Grandma, why can’t I feel my legs?’”
The second victim of the shooting, aged 31, was wounded in the left knee.
At the time of the incident, Jayden was waiting with his 10-year-old brother for his father to get a hair cut in the area, as he was set to graduate fifth grade the following day, his grandmother said.
Jayden’s father was in a barbershop nearby when the bullet hit his son, and he ran out to find his him lying on the sidewalk.
Heartbreaking. We are praying for this boy and his family. Unfortunately this is a trend: SHOOTINGS ARE UP 71% in 77 Pct. The problem doesn’t start when an innocent child is shot. It starts when bad policies embolden perps to carry guns on our streethttps://t.co/Os4hgiQCzz
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) 21 June 2019
The boy’s father is feeling guilty for being unable to protect his son from the gunman, Watson-Grant told ABC 7.
“He has some guilt because he felt he couldn’t protect his son at the moment,” she said. “And even Jayden said, ‘Daddy, it’s not your fault.’”
Jayden’s grandmother said she is furious her innocent grandchild was injured in the incident, and said that the gunman should have approached his target directly rather than just opening fire, reported ABC 7.
“No child should be hurt, no child,” she said. “But to know my grandchild was cut down and such a young boy and might have life long traumatic injuries behind this silly act, it makes you angry.”
Jayden’s family members said his school in Brooklyn, New Bridges Elementary, will be holding a graduation ceremony for him in his hospital room, reported CBS2.
“Small steps, but we take that he’s alive, that’s the main thing,” Watson-Grant told the CBS2.
Police officers have arrested a 27-year-old man named Angel Eaddy in connection with the incident.
According to CBS2, the man, who is reportedly a known Bloods gang member, is charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and weapons possession and is being held on $500,000 bail.
The incident comes as Brooklyn has seen a spike in murder cases this year, with a recorded 28 homicides within the first three months of 2019—an increase of 64 percent from 17 cases recorded in the same period last year—The New York Times reported.
In the 79 Pct. murders ARE UP 75%
Shooting victims ARE UP 100%
Shooting Incidents ARE UP 80% https://t.co/8wtpOg5yRy
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) 24 June 2019
Chief Terence A. Monahan told The Times the recent wave of shootings appears to be linked to members of street gangs.
“They’re gang-related shootings, and it’s the same related individuals who are showing up,” said Monahan.
A fundraiser titled “Hope and Healing for Jayden Grant” launched by the boy’s school has gone viral and raised over $33,000 at the time of writing.
“The night before his fifth grade graduation, 11-year-old Jayden Grant was getting his haircut for the ceremony when he was shot by a gunman who opened fire on his Brooklyn block. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and remains seriously injured,” the fundraiser reads.
“As he faces a long and challenging recovery ahead, we want to come together as a school community to support him and his family with whatever they need.”