LAWRENCE, INDIANA — What should’ve only been a fun time for teens turned out to be a gruesome hospital visit for one 14-year-old.
According to RTV-6, a teenager’s birthday party turned violent over the weekend. The source mentions that a fight broke out at the Lawrence Lion’s Club near North Richardt Avenue and East 46th, resulting in five kids — all under age 15 — being shot.
Reportedly, four of the kids received non-life-threatening injuries. However, 14-year-old Daron Johnson caught the worst of it and is clinging for his life at Riley Hospital for Children.
“I’m not ready to let him go” Mom of Daron Johnson, 14-year-old victim of Lawrence birthday party shooting. She says doctors have declared her son brain dead. She’s pleading for parents & teens at that party to give police information. @WTHRcom pic.twitter.com/rWMjbgYYdS
— Jennie Runevitch (@JennieWTHR) June 12, 2018
The source says he suffered a head shot. And doctors have declared him brain dead.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED
Lawrence police were called after a fight between two individuals turned into a fight between two groups of people. The source says several shots were fired, and the aforementioned teens and pre-teens were hit.
Daron’s mother, Cheree Sampson, tells the source she was with him earlier in the day.
“I just remember me being with my son that day, early in the daytime and I didn’t know that I wasn’t going to see him. I didn’t know that I wasn’t going to see him.”
Sampson is simply shocked to know kids have such availability to guns.
“Where are kids getting guns?” she emotionally questions. “I have no idea. I know our kids don’t run around with guns at 14 and 15 years old, and I don’t think nobody else’s kids should.”
The source states that the argument’s cause is still under investigation. However, Daron’s family says he wasn’t even involved in the altercation.
His uncle reportedly told the source Daron just happened to be at the wrong place and the wrong time. The man says his nephew had nothing to do with either side of the argument, altogether.
NOTE: The youngest victim was 11 years old. Police say there were several parents at the party. Reportedly, the event was starting to wrap up at approximately 10:30 p.m.. That’s when the incident occurred.
A GOOD NEIGHBOR
A man who lost his own son years ago helped give CPR to 14-year-old Daron.
The source says that Mike Beeler was outside in his garage when he heard shots fired at The Lion’s Club.
“At a birthday party. This is senseless for somebody to handle their problem with a gun. There was a lot, lots of kids. A lot more than I thought was over there.”
“I really hope that gave him the fighting chance to get him to the doctors and let them get him the treatment he needed,” Beeler said.
According to the source, Beeler’s own son died three years ago.
“Losing a child is the worst feeling in the world. I wake up every day and it’s a struggle every day not to be able to see my son. I don’t want them to have to go to that. You don’t ever get over it.”
For now, family members say Daron continues to fight for his life. Likewise, they’re pleading for those responsible of the crime to come forward.
“I’ve never ever felt like this a day in my life,” Sampson told the source. “I never thought that would be my child. Whoever did this just take into consideration that you need to come forward because my baby is suffering.”
— Moms Demand Action (@MomsDemand) June 14, 2018
At the moment, Lawrence police have arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection with the shooting. He was taken into custody early Sunday morning. Yet, authorities believe there could be more who fired shots.
If you have any information, don’t hesitate to call crime stoppers at 317-262-8477.
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[Featured Photo via Moms Demand Action / Twitter]