- Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN.com since 2010. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.
Matthew Delaney, the Texas A&M-Texarkana baseball player struck by a stray bullet on the field this weekend, is in intensive care with partial paralysis of his left leg among other serious injuries, his mother said on Tuesday.
Amy Delaney of Princeton, Texas, said her son Matthew, 18, a freshman baseball player for the Eagles, still has a long road to recovery but is improving each day. She’s still stunned by the random nature of the shooting, with Matthew standing by the bullpen during a game against the University of Houston-Victoria when he was shot in the chest.
“He was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing,” Amy Delaney said. “It’s not something that we would have ever imagined.”
She said doctors are still unable to remove the bullet, which remains lodged near Matthew’s spine and he suffered two broken vertebrae. She said while he still cannot move his left leg, he’s started to regain some sensation and can tell when someone is touching it, in addition to starting to be able to wiggle a toe on occasion.
The gunshot wound also caused a collapsed lung, which Amy said is starting to improve.
“It’s slowly inflating,” she said. “Each day, that’s gotten a little better. He still does have a chest tube to try to drain some fluid off it.”
Texarkana police say the bullet was fired during a shootout in a nearby neighborhood.
“The incident started as a disturbance there that led to two men shooting at each other in front of the house,” Texarkana PD wrote in a Facebook post. “One of those errant rounds travelled about 400 yards and struck the innocent victim at the ball field.”
The police department said today that the last remaining suspect turned himself in overnight and was booked into jail.
Kamauri Butler, 17, who is one of the alleged shooters, was charged with aggravated assault on Tuesday, joining Demarco Banks, 20, who police believe was the other shooter. Banks was charged with deadly conduct. Officers also arrested Yankeengea Smith, 49, for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, Nathan Moore, 19, for tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana and Marcell Beaver, 19, for possession of marijuana.
A Texarkana police spokesperson said Tuesday that they believe they have now arrested everyone involved in the incident and their investigation is close to being concluded and turned over to prosecutors.
Amy said she and her husband, Mark, have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, particularly among the people of Texarkana and Matthew’s teammates and coaches.
“They have been here every day, calling, coming in, the team, the staff,” she said. “Everyone has reached out. They’ve sent food to us. They have just been so supportive as a community. We’ve had three different small businesses that have made donations to Matthew that are just trying to help any way they can.”
Amy Delaney said they didn’t know Matthew’s long-term prognosis yet or how long he’ll remain in Christus St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, about 150 miles from their hometown.
“We’ve had people that we don’t even know offered our homes up because we needed a place to stay. The outpouring from the people here in Texarkana has just been amazing and we’re just so thankful.”
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