Teen who blocked friend from bullets back home

July 13, 2012 (CHICAGO)

He said he thought he was going to die.

With gunshot wounds in his arm, chest, and hip, Rony Monzon is in a lot of pain, but he is grateful to be alive.

He was sitting outside his house in the West Side Brighton Park neighborhood two nights ago with his lifelong friend and neighbor Daneysi Valdovinos when gunshots rang out from the gangway right next to where they were sitting. He reacted quickly, jumping up to get inside. It took a minute before he realized he had been shot.

"Once I got in the house, I checked myself and I saw blood... and I was very scared," said Monzon. "I was like - I'm gonna die."

He spent two nights in the hospital, but doctors have told him he should make a full recovery. Meanwhile, he is considered a hero in his neighborhood because as he was trying to escape the shooting, he blocked Valdovinos from the line of fire.

"He saved my life because that shooting was straight at me," said Valdovinos.

Friends and relatives have been stopping by all day Friday with get well wishes. No one was happier to see Monzon released from the hospital Friday morning than his mother, Diana.

"He's the most precious thing that I have in my life - he knows," said Diana Monzon. She says she's worked hard to raise her son the right way. He loves sports, has nothing to do with the gangs in his neighborhood, and plans to start high school at Phoenix Military Academy in the fall. She believes he was not the shooter's intended victim.

"I forgive this person for what he has done to my son," said Diana Monzon. "I think he didn't mean to do that to him."

"My mom was worried, and I was the one telling her: Calm down," said Rony Monzon.

Witnesses have provided police only a general description of the suspect, whom they believe is a teenager. As of Friday night, police had no one in custody.

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