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MIAMI(CBSMiami) – A 10-year-old child is speaking out for the first time since he was shot in the leg on Wednesday night in Liberty City. Now he’s left wondering why someone fired bullets at him.
“Why would they do this to me?” asked Jamari Tillman from his bed at the Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami. “Because I’m young. I don’t know.”
With his younger brothers and grandmother by his side at the hospital, Tillman showed CBS4’s Peter D’Oench where he was wounded. A bullet remains lodged in his left calf and his mother has said she is not sure when doctors will be able to remove it.
“Well, myself, my leg hurts real bad,” Tillman told D’Oench. “But at least I can walk.”
Tillman said he did not know if he would survive when he was shot around 8:30 p.m. while riding his bicycle on a basketball court near a playground at the Liberty Square Community Center at 1415 N.W. 63rd St.
“I said I hope I survive,” he said.
“Were you scared?” D’Oench asked.
“Yes,” he said.
When he was asked how he felt, Tillman said he was worried and that he remembers vividly what happened.
“I remember when I was on the basketball court riding my bike and I saw three men in black jackets and I saw people running and when I ran out of the gate they started shooting and then one bullet went up in to my leg,” he said. “I felt like this hurt and there was a sting.”
“The sound was real loud and at the end when there was shooting, I ran,” said Tillman. “I feel read bad about what happened.”
He said he was consoled by letters from fellow third grade students at Holmes Elementary School. He read one letter from a friend named “Sammie.”
“He said ‘I hope you feel ok.’ He said ‘I’m sorry about you getting shot in the leg and I want you to know I will still be there for you,’” said Tillman, reading the letter.
Tillman said he appreciated his doctors and nurses at the Holtz Children’s Hospital.
“Thank you nurses and doctors for helping me out and helping my left leg,” he said.
“It’s going to be ok and I love this hospital.”
He also said he was looking forward to going home, “to say hi to my family and relax my feet.”
He also had a special plea directed towards the shooters.
“They need to turn themselves in,” said Tillman. “That way they can go to prison. They can go to jail.”
Tillman also has a message for the community, for anyone who may know who shot the gun.
“Tell them to go to the police and tell them who did it,” he said.
His grandmother, Sandra Fair said, “I feel good that he is great and it wasn’t serious but it hurts me to see him in so much pain. He is my grandson and he is just 10 years old. I worry about the violence in Liberty Square and the little kids being shot over there.”
“I’m pleading for help from the community,” she said. “If anyone knows anything please notify Crime Stoppers and let us know. People should turn themselves in.”
She said she is worried about the long-term impact on her grandson of being shot.
“They have him real nervous,” she said. “He doesn’t even want to go outside. He doesn’t even want to ride his bike. He doesn’t want to do anything. Kids should be able to live in their apartments without fear of being shot.”
Tillman had hoped to go home on Friday but Fair said that was not going to happen.
She said doctors had to evaluate how well he could walk before releasing him.
Miami Police are continuing to look for leads and they are checking surveillance tape from the cameras at the Liberty Square Community Center and the complex. So far they have not said if they have any suspects or leads or a motive.
Miami Police also need the community’s help.
Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).