8-Year-Old Boy Paralyzed By Bullet Not Slowing Down

CHICAGO (CBS) — An 8-year-old boy paralyzed from the waist down in gang crossfire says he wants to see an end to the violence, but he’s not letting his injury slow him down — on the basketball court or off.

“I get to have fun,” Martrell Stevens says when asked about his wheelchair basketball team.

Sports remains important in Martrell’s life, more than three years after he was caught in gang crossfire and a bullet struck his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He also loves softball and spends lots of time exploring the Internet on his computer.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

“It’s been difficult the whole three years to try to keep him motivated, to keep him going on,” says his mother, Lakeesha Rucker. “And there’s been no justice served.”

The hurt in Rucker’s voice is as plain as the smile Martrell flashes — one that can melt the hardest heart. She falters when she says that no one has even been arrested in the shooting of her son.

Activist Andrew Holmes, the executive director of the group “No Guns, No Violence,” said he hopes to take Martrell’s focus off of his injury and channel his energy into computers.

“First of all, he’s still learning. He’s still scared,” Holmes said, but said computers are an area in which Martrell need not take a back seat to anyone and opens many possibilities that did not exist even a few years ago.

Rucker says there are still days when Martrell asks if he will ever play football the way other children do. But on the basketball court he’s smiling, taking a couple of dribbles as he propels his chair upcourt.

To those who shoot indiscriminately on the streets outside his home, Martrell says this: “You can play on my wheelchair basketball team, too.”

More from Bob Roberts
  • Harriet-the-Teacher

    Who writes the headlines? Eight graders? The headline implies that the boy was paralyzed by a bullet that did not slow down. Has anyone there completed high school English?

    • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com inalienablewrights
    • Centurion

      What headline are you reading? 8-Year-Old Boy Paralyzed By Bullet Not Slowing Down. The headline states…8 YEAR OLD BOY…who was Paralyzed By Bullet….which means..HE WAS shot….is NOT SLOWING DOWN. Which means he is continuing…as in CONTINUING WITH HIS LIFE.

      Harriet The Teacher…needs to be schooled. MORON! Writers would have to worry about completing High School English, but completing Composition, Journalism, and CREATIVE WRITING! Who in the NW Burbs does Harriet the Idiot teach? If its your kids, GET THEM OUT OF THAT SCHOOL!

  • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com inalienablewrights

    Thank your state legislature for this boy being paralyzed.

    • dan

      This boy is paralyzed because he was shot by an older Tribesman.

    • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com inalienablewrights

      We don’t have the gangster problem in places where we are not disarmed – They become dead-sters.

  • Afro

    It’s easy for them to say a bullet struck his spinal cord taking the focus off of the fact that a thug pulled the trigger the bullet didn’t do this a thug did it. The Constitution is the Supreme Law Of The Land. It’s the only legisation I need.

  • K33tanz

    BUT! BUT! They banned guns in Illinois! This wasn’t suppose to happen! Oh wait, the bad guys will get their weapons anyhow…silly me! It’s a sad thing that this little boy won’t find justice for his disability, but hopefully he’ll see that there will be better places to live than that state.

    • EVERYBODY should not own a gun!

      Banned guns in Iliinois?!?! Where did you ever hear that? Yes Illinois is one of the states that does not allow conceal carry, but people are still allowed to own guns within the state. Now if you are talking about the CITY of Chicago(which by the way does NOT make up all of the STATE of Illinois), yes they have ‘banned’ handguns. However, that law also has been challanged so many times as to have renedered it all but uninforcable. And just to add-how would a conceal carry law have helped this 8 year old? Do you propose that 8-year-olds be allowed to conceal carry? The blame for this belongs on the thug that pulled the trigger, no one else!! The moment you ‘blame’ bad laws(or those you don’t agree with), is the same moment that the thug wins in his justification for being nothing but a thug!!

      • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com inalienablewrights

        There are numerous ways in which universal carry could have protected this boy Mr. EVERYBODY. Perhaps the last person this thug would have messed with would have killed him. If he as I suspect commits crimes all the time the chance of someone bringing him to room temperature before he shot this 8 year old would have been increased. Perhaps this persons criminal parents would have been killed during one of their crime sprees and the perp never would have been born.

        This 8 year old could have defended himself with a good streaming pepper spray like FOX for about $20 but I am sure that would be illegal in IL.

        Until a lot of people start conceal carrying weapons the criminals will rule the streets. We don’t have those sorts of problems where I live and armed people are a large part of the reason. The other is that I am in the Bible belt and yes morals do matter.

    • Mahhn

      I left IL 26 years ago, corruption was so bad the local Mob called themselves the Fantastic 7. Coles County. Cops protecting big drug dealers, Incinerator running 24×7 most of the time at the Mobs funeral home. I’ve checked back with classmates there, the former thugs are now Mayors and police cheifs. Most people that use guns are criminals, even the cops. (not all cops are bad, but when the dept is bad good cops are not welcome)

      • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com inalienablewrights

        There was an incident of local corruption in Atlanta TN (I believe) Anyhow it has gone down the Orwellian memory hole. Where a group of returned WW 2 vets took up arms against their own local government and arrested them. I have heard it referred to as the Battle of Atlanta. (no not GA)

        You will NEVER learn of this in a government school or from the government controlled media.

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