Bullet will stay in the back of boy shot near Farview Park

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2009 - 9:24 PM

The 11-year-old's relatives worry about fear after he and a girl were hit. No arrests have been made.

The bullet lodged in the back of a young Minneapolis boy is no more damaging than the emotional scars he will carry, his aunt said Saturday.

Police have made no arrests in Friday's shooting near Farview Park, in which a 15-year-old girl was shot in the leg and 11-year-old Truvontee McElroy was shot in the stomach. The bullet in McElroy's back will likely remain there the rest of his life, his aunt said.

"Tru-Tru was a nice, quiet sweet boy, and now you can just see the fear all over," Linda McFarland said. "I hope the trauma wears off, but from the look I saw in his eyes, I don't know."

McFarland said the bullet ripped four holes through the fifth-grader's body, cutting his colon in half before lodging in a muscle in his back. Doctors fear removing it for risk of further injury, she said. He was expected to move out of intensive care Saturday night.

McElroy's mother was with him Saturday at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and declined to answer questions.

Few children were seen playing in Farview Park Saturday.

Police say McElroy and the girl were standing with a group of 30 to 50 children near a bus stop across the street from the park near 29th and Lyndale Avenues N. around 5:45 p.m. when shots were fired from about a block away. Police said they have suspect information but have not released details. The victims are not believed to be the intended targets, Sgt. William Palmer said Saturday.

Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels visited the boy at North Memorial on Friday night. "It's always shocking to see a family over the bed of a kid who was shot hours ago, and he was clearly frightened," Samuels said Saturday.

Samuels' visit underscored the significance of the incident to community leaders.

His wife, Sondra, heads up the PEACE Foundation, which counts ending youth violence among its goals. The group will testify Monday before the state Senate about a bill that seeks to declare youth violence a public health issue. If anything, Friday's events are proof that it needs to be addressed, she said.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also spoke with McElroy's mother Friday night. On Saturday, he turned his attention to the community.

"When a thug pulls out a gun and shoots at a kid, every person in this community should be outraged enough to bring every piece of information possible," he said. "No one under any circumstances should protect a thug who would find any possible motivation to hurt a child."

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921

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