Teen girl dove to protect Deonta Howard, 3, in Chicago park shooting

September 27, 2013 3:35:32 PM PDT
An ABC7 exclusive: a young woman wounded in the Cornell Square Park shooting of 13 people speaks out. The family of three-year-old Deonta Howard says her quick thinking may have saved his life.

"I had to just grab him like you know like get him to safety, get him out the way," said Keshawnda Green, 18.

Two patients from September 19th's shooting remain hospitalized at Mount Sinai; three have been discharged. As the victims recover, we are hearing more about what happened and how it could have been worse.

It will be months before Keshawnda Green can walk again. Two bullets ripped through her foot. She was among the 13 people shot last week at a Back of the Yards park. She says she didn't even realize she was shot initially-- she was focused on three-year-old Deonta Howard.

"Screaming, telling them that he was shot. I didn't know I was hit, I just knew he was. And when I looked down I wondered why I couldn't move. I looked and I was shot," said Green.

Howard was shot behind his ear, the bullet went through part of his jaw. On Wednesday night, he left the hospital. The damage was very evident, but showed signs of a recovering three-year-old.

When Green first saw the boy, he was still sedated in the hospital.

"I had went to his room and seen him and I was crying. Like every time I think about him I cry," said Green.

Green says when gunfire pierced the sounds of a playful evening at the basketball court everyone scattered, except the three-year-old. She says she started to run, but saw Howard was alone and in the line of fire.

"He was just standing there, just looking. He's young, he don't know nothing. . .he's just standing there so I just grabbed him and tried to dive on the ground," said Green. I couldn't do much, but I did the best I could."

Green fears what the outcome could have been if she didn't grab Howard. As it happened, they were both hit, but both survived.

"I just hope we get better and thank everyone who prayed for us, and thank everyone who was there for us," said Green.

Keshawnda Green, like Deonta Howard, will require more surgeries. She is eager to get back to her senior year of high school. Green wants to be a nurse, and she hopes to carry this experience with her as she helps others recover.


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