Young Shooting Victim Rebounding, 8 Years After Being Cut Down By Bullet

(CBS) – Lakeesha Rucker remembers the date May 23, 2008. It’s when her son, Martrell Stevens, was struck by a bullet meant for someone else.

“When I was walking, I think my dreams were easier to accomplish,” Martrell, who today uses a wheelchair, tells 2 Investigator Brad Edwards.

The 13-year-old says things need to change in Chicago, where in some neighborhoods it’s not safe to go outside and play for children.

“That’s what kids do, and they’re getting killed because they go outside.  That doesn’t even make sense,” Martrell says.

Data compiled by CBS 2 investigators reveals that 21 kids, age 9 and under, have been shot so far in 2016.

More kids have been shot in 2016 than in all of 2015 and the previous three years.

Of the 88 children shot in the past five years, 70 percent occurred in eight police districts.

Englewood’s seen the most — 14, ages 9 and under.

This is where Martrell Stevens was shot.

Martrell’s mother think she knows who shot her son, but the “Code of Silence” has prevented the gunman from being charged.

As for the resilient and self-reliant Martrell, who likes to play basketball in his wheelchair, he’d like to have a permanent hoop in his yard that can’t be stolen.

His mother has a different goal.

“It’s to leave Chicago,” she says.

Chicago police confirm there was an initial arrest in Martrell’s shooting.

Sources say the suspect was released after witnesses stopped cooperating with police.

 

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