MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the first time since was shot in the back while riding his bicycle on a Miami street, 15-year-old Aaron Willis is speaking out, saying, “I just want to know why I got shot.”
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke with Williams first on Friday from his hospital bed inside the Holtz Childrens Hospital at JMH. He was moved there from the intensive care unit inside the Ryder Trauma Center at JMH.
He was shot on the night of December 19th. The one bullet that struck him did extensive damage to his spine and his father Sammie worries that his son may never walk again.
“I feel like they didn’t have a reason to shoot me,” Aaron Willis said from his hospital bed. “I didn’t do nothing. I don’t think they realize who they were shooting at.”
Willis is a freshman at Booker T. Washington Senior High School and he has received lots of support from his friends and his father Sammie has been by his side since Aaron was brought to the hospital last week.
Willis said he doesn’t remember much from the attack, which happened near Northwest 1st Avenue and 28th Street in the midtown area near Wynwood and just a few blocks from Midtown Shops.
“I didn’t know I was hit,” Aaron said. “I didn’t feel like I had got shot.”
“I was on a bike, riding it up and down the street and a white Maxima came driving by and started shooting,” Aaron continued. “I didn’t know they were shooting at first. I thought it was fireworks. I was talking on the phone and then I got hit and fell off the bike and I couldn’t feel my legs.”
Aaron said he is very grateful not only for the support of his friends, but also his father who hasn’t left his side.
“[It means] that I got a lot of friends and family that care,” Aaron said. “And the nurses here at the hospital are fast. It’s like they really care. I hope I can walk again. I’d be really happy to walk again.”
“Are you upset?” D’Oench asked him.
“I was at first,” he said. “Now I am not anymore.”
Aaron’s father Sammie told CBS4’s D’Oench Friday that he didn’t know how long Aaron would be in the hospital.
“I just wouldn’t want anything like this to happen to anyone else,” he said while sitting next to his son’s hospital bed. “Not just to my son but to anyone else’s son. I wouldn’t like this to happen to anyone.”
“They didn’t just hurt him,” he said, “they hurt me and his mother and brother and sisters and his aunts and uncles. It was like they dropped a pebble in the middle of a pond and it had a ripple effect ad infinitum.”
“This is what they deprived me of. This is my world, my son,” he said. “I wanted to prevent things like this from happening.”
Last week, Sammie had some choice words for the gunman who cut down his son.
“I would like them to look at themselves in the mirror every day and see what they did to my son,” he said. “My son is a good kid. He is an A and B student in school. He has whole life in front of him. But now his spine is cut.”
Aaron Willis told D’Oench that he did not see the shooter’s face but he said that he fled in an older model white Nissan Maxima.
Willis was shot three days before 16-year-old high school student Bryan Herrera was shot and killed in broad daylight at 11:04 a.m. on Saturday, December 22nd while riding his bicycle to a friend’s home to finish a school project. That shooting happened at Northwest 11th Avenue and 39th Street.
Miami Police say they have no reason to believe that the two shootings are connected in any way.
If you have any information about the person who shot Aaron Williams or the getaway vehicle, contact Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).