Teen recovering from shooting in Little Havana, mother speak out

MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida boy and his mother are speaking out days after, police said, the teen was shot while sleeping in his Little Havana home.

Speaking through a translator, 13-year-old Christian Torres said the shooting filled him with fear. “Yes, I got scared, of course,” he said.

The young victim, who spoke to 7News from his room at Holtz Children’s Hospital shortly before being released, described the moment he realized he’d been shot. “I felt the blood rolling down to my foot, and I touched it to see what it was, and I saw that it was blood,” he said.

The boy’s mother, Frances Almendares, said she initially feared her son’s injuries were even more serious. “Did they do anything else? And he said, ‘Mommy, I have something here in my arm,'” she said in Spanish. “I said, ‘Son, wait,’ and I called the police and said, ‘My son is dying.'”

Covered in bandages and sitting next to a helium balloon filled with emojis, Christian put on a brave face after, officials said, a bullet pierced the teen’s elbow and foot, severing two toes.

Almendares said she doesn’t want to take her family back to their home. “I don’t want to really go back there,” she said.

It was the violence back in their home country of Honduras that, Almendares said, she was trying to protect them from when she moved the children to Miami just over a year ago in search of a better life. “I brought them over here to protect them and look what happened,” she said.

According to City of Miami Police, the shooting that landed Torres in the hospital happened Monday, just after 2 a.m.

Investigators said bullets flew in the street near Northwest Fourth Street and 13th Avenue. At least two landed in the bedroom where Torres, his mother and two other siblings slept in the same room, striking the teen.

Cellphone video taken moments after the shooting shows the family’s bedroom riddled by bullets.

Area residents said this is third time in a week they’ve woken up to the sound of gunfire.

For this family, a place of refuge and comfort is now associated with fear. “I don’t even want to go to my bed,” said Torres.

7News cameras captured Almendares wheeling her son out of the hospital, Wednesday evening. The family is currently looking for another place to live.

“I’m going to lose my job, because I’ve got to take care of my kids,” said Almendares, as she burst into tears.

Torres said he can’t wait to be back up and running soon. “I’m a lot better. It hardly hurts right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the family said they want those responsible for the shooting to be apprehended. They’re worried that if this happens again, the outcome could be deadly.

“It’s very hard what they do. They don’t have a conscience. I leave it up to God’s will,” said Almendares.

Torres, a football fanatic, said he wants to be on the field at school next year. He wants to go back to school so badly that he plans to resume classes sometime next week.

The shooter or shooters remain at large. If you have any information on their whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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