MIAMI (CBS4) – A 15-year-old youngster who was shot in the back five weeks ago while riding his bicycle is home from the hospital and says he prays he one day will be able to walk again.
“It would make me happy to move my legs again and my dream is to get out of my wheelchair,” said Aaron Willis, who was wounded Dec. 19th in a drive-by shooting in midtown Miami near Wynwood at Northwest 1st Avenue and 28th Street. “I won’t forget. It was 8:20 at night.”
In an exclusive interview inside his home with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Willis said, “I remember being on a bike and I heard gunshots and I got shot in the back.”
The case remains unsolved as Miami Police look for an older model white Nissan Maxima that left the scene with the shooter and a driver. Willis could not describe his attacker because he was shot in the back and did not see his face. Witnesses say they heard as many as four shots being fired.
It’s not known why Willis was shot. “I have no enemies,” he told D’Oench. D’Oench asked him what he would say to someone who may know something about the shooting. Willis said, “Why don’t you say something.”
Willis was treated for five weeks at Jackson Memorial Hospital and he spoke shortly after his release from the hospital.
“How are you feeling now?” D’Oench asked him.
“Good,” he said. He added, “Being home is everything. My room. It makes me feel good that people care about me. My Mom and Dad have not left my side.”
Willis is a 9th grade student at Booker T. Washington High School. It’s not known when he’ll return to school as his father Sammie Willis said he would be “home schooled” for awhile. Aaron will have to go to therapy three times a week.
He showed us his bedroom that was filled with ribbons and medals that he had won in sports contests and certificates from different schools for academic achievement. One certificate from an elementary school said he had a “perfect attendance” one year.
There were also mementos and photos from his favorite teams: the Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins.
Aaron Willis said his favorite subject in school was math and said he liked playing football for the local Optimist Club. He said he hopes to one day go to college and open up his own business.
Sammie Willis said he too prays his son will be able to walk again.
“I look forward to him getting out of that wheelchair just as he said to me, Daddy, I don’t want to be in a wheelchair and I want to do everything I can to get home out of there. Everything. I mean it,” said Aaron’s father with tears streaming down his face.
“I am committed to that,” he said. “I spent Christmas and New Years at the hospital with my son and my birthday on January 19th with him when I turned 71,” he said.
“One of my greatest achievements right now is that I can see that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for this boy. Nothing. And it feels very good for a first step to be taken. He’s home,” said Willis.
“For me to look in his eyes when it first happened and for him to be saying Daddy, why me, and with his eyes like that it tore me apart and I still can’t stop crying over it,” he said. “Now we have to go to another priority, in another direction. Because he’s still got a lot to give.”
“No matter what, I love that boy deep down in my heart and my soul. I love Aaron,” he said. He said he would not leave his son’s side.
If you can help Miami Police with this case, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).