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Family of 8-year-old boy shot speaks about his road to recovery

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The family of an 8-year-old boy is opening up about his recovery and their search for justice.

Someone shot Tyjuan Preer last month outside of a used appliance store on the northwest side of Indianapolis.

Police questioned a person of interest, but that person has since been cleared.

It’s been very difficult past couple of weeks for Shenetta Preer and her husband. Their 8-year-old son has been recovering at the hospital from what doctors are calling a spinal shock. He’s now in a wheelchair, but his parents are not giving up hope.

Third grader Tyjuan is taking it one step at a time.

“He has to wear a back brace, a full body brace on his stomach and back,” said Shenetta Preer, victim’s mother.

The running back for the Northwest Football League is now staying at a rehab hospital working to regain his strength and lower body movement.

“He’s still not been able to move his legs,” said Preer.

Tyjaun Preer

His mother, too emotional to share her face on camera Tuesday morning, said doctors have not diagnosed her son as being paralyzed.

But the young boy with dreams of being a professional football player someday will need extensive therapy.

Shenetta says she remembers that day like it happened yesterday. She was at work when she received the phone call that her son had been shot.

“It was really heartbreaking and to get down on the scene and seeing my son laying there was really heartbreaking,” said Preer.

The People’s Church is planning a service at the hospital with Tyjuan.

“This family is faithful, they’re always here and little Tyjuan loves our church. He loves the children’s church,” said Pastor Eli Johnson, The People’s Church. “For anybody’s child, for this to happen, it was tragic.”

Pastor Eli Johnson says it’s time for the violence to stop.

“Number one – I’m a pastor so I know that the community needs Jesus. We need Jesus. So outside of that, working together (and) working with our police department,” said Pastor Johnson. “I believe it’s going to take a unified front to curb the violence that’s happening in our city.”

Pastor Johnson knows that with prayers and faith Tyjuan, will only get stronger.

“He is a football player, but even bigger, he has a large heart and I see his heart display the strength for his family when they feel like they can’t hold on,” said Pastor Johnson.

Tyjuan Preer

A community fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., pending weather, in the 1300 block of West 30th Street. Food will be served and toys will be given away to children in the neighborhood.

The pastor says a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family pay for medical expenses. Click here if you would like to help.

If you think you can help investigators with the case, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. You can also text or submit your tips anonymously online.