Boy might have to live with bullet in cheek

April 13, 2010 8:56:33 AM PDT
An 8-year-old boy who was shot while playing outside told ABC7 he thought he was going to die.

Ader Torres was shot 10 days ago. The 8-year-old was struck by a bullet in the cheek.

He is now home recovering, but may spend the rest of his life with that bullet lodged in his cheek.

Police are still searching for a suspect in the shooting, which happened in northwest suburban Mount Prospect in the 1100-block of Boxwood Drive.

Ader Torres says thought he was going to die. On the way to the hospital he was given a teddy bear inside the ambulance, and he says that made him feel better. Police say the shooting could have been worse when you consider the time and the number of shots fired.

It was a beautiful spring evening on Good Friday. Children were playing outside behind Ader's family's apartment on Boxwood Drive in Mount Prospect. Witnesses say shots rang out after some men were arguing over a gun.

Police used paint to indicate where the bullets landed along a fence and the back of the apartment building. One of the bullets hit 8-year-old Ader Torres in the face.

"I saw some guys fighting. Then they jumped the fence, and then they shoot, and then they shoot me," said Ader.

"There were three to four pops at once intended for someone else on the other side of the fence," said neighbor Elizabeth Ruiz.

Initially, Torres said, he didn't know he had been shot.

"My ear was hurting and then I ran inside, and then I took my hand, and then I saw that I was bleeding," Ader said.

"I went in the house right away and applied pressure to his cheek. He was bleeding a lot," said Ruiz.

The second grader returned to school Monday but left early because of headaches.

Torres has been recovering at home with his parents. His mom is pregnant, and she worries that with warmer temperatures the violence will escalate, so she is scared to let her son play outside.

Ader says he misses school and his classmates, but he now fears for his life.

"I'm scared to go outside," the boy said.

At his school, counselors have been offering support for the students and police are conducting safety seminars.

The bullet remains in Ader's cheek because doctors say it would be too dangerous to remove at this time.

Anyone with information about this shooting is urged to call the Mount Prospect Police Department.