Boy shot in bedroom speaks out

July 17, 2009 (CHICAGO) Jonmel Galloway was struck by a stray bullet Wednesday.

Jonmel is smiling, laughing and visiting with his family. He's still recovering at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, where he is now in good condition.

Physically, he's improving each day. Mentally, it's a bit more difficult.

His mother asked ABC7 not to talk about the shooting.

Jonmel did have a moment with his mother - a quick snapshot of his life that, even at 8-years-old, he seems to grasp the enormity of being shot.

"I'm happy I'm alive," said Jonmel.

Jonmel Galloway is alive and expected to go home soon. His family says Wednesday's shooting is too raw, too painful for him to discuss. He does remember waking up in the hospital.

"I felt great. I felt good to see my family," said Jonmel.

Family and friends have stayed by his side since a stray bullet smashed through his second floor bedroom window in Englewood. It was about 11:30, Wednesday evening. Jonmel was watching TV. His mother was asleep.

"I don't wish this on no parent to have a child to wake up out of their sleep and hear another child screaming," said Merrie Rice, Jonmel's mother.

The bullet entered his arm, went through his side and punctured his lung. So now, Jonmel must do breathing exercises. He will soon be a 3rd grade student.

Jonmel's teacher says violence is something he and his classmates in Englewood witness or experience.

"Every night, I cover them in my prayers because I know there is so much going on...they have to face so much," said Jessica Wilkes, Jonmel's teacher.

Jonmel is expected to meet with a psychologist to cope with the mental scars of being shot.

"One of the most important things is to try and help the child feel a sense of safety again - whatever ways that you can create that safety for them...we want them to feel safety again," said Courtney Landau Fleisher, child psychologist.

For right now, Jonmel is simply looking forward to a few comforts like a special meal once he gets home.

"My pizza when I get out of the hospital," said Jonmel.

Police are still investigating the shooting. No one is in custody.

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