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Aug 18, 2004

14 year old shooting victim clings to life

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After several weeks of relative calm on city streets the familiar sound of gunshots has returned. And once more a heartbroken family seeks justice as their loved one lies in the hospital.

Janelle Chanona

Tonight fourteen-year-old Ryan Alvarez continues to fight for his life in the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being shot at point blank range on Tuesday night. According to his doctors at the KHMH, the single blast caused severe damage to the boy?s internal organs.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, KHMH

“Fourteen year old, yet another victim of violence. Gunshot to chest and abdomen; four to five hours of surgery. Major injuries to internal organs: liver, bladder, gut, major vessels, the Vena Cava. Miraculously, he still survived and is still critical and his vital signs have stabilized quite well and so we are optimistic of his recovery. It?s still too early to say for sure, but he will definitely require more surgeries tomorrow, we will have to go in for a second look in the abdomen tomorrow.”

Alvarez, two younger brothers, and his twelve-year-old cousin, were playing basketball at this court, located at the corner of Kut and Euphrates Avenues, when he was shot. According to his mother, Marie Alvarez, from his hospital bed her son described the cold-blooded crime.

Marie Alvarez, Mother of Victim

“I say son, who shoot you? He say Ma, Mike. So I say Mike?…which part he live? He say Ma, he sell bread and bun. So I say ok then, I know the little boy Mike. So, I tell him nuh worry, I going for the police them and we will deal with it. I went from here with the police and we reached there last night, the grandmother and the aunty was talking and the police they bomb-rush in a the yard and they nuh say nothing to none of us. So, I feel a way, so I want the police they just find the little boy because I want justice. If they no give justice, I wah take it pan my own.”

As for a motive behind the crime, the victim’s mother says the boy’s personality might have contributed to the escalation in violence.

Marie Alvarez

“My son, I know he like fass with people. And my son is somebody when you talk to him, he wah cry. But he in a team whe they play basketball and so he went to the basketball to practice and when he reach out there the practice, the young man just get the gun and put it under my son shirt and he tell him if he ready fi dead and the bullet gone off right there. He shot my son and when he done, he run.”

Janelle Chanona

“You know him, this young man, this young man has come to your home?”

Marie Alvarez

“No, but I know him; I see him a lot.”

Alvarez has supplied the authorities with a description of the man whom she identifies as “Mike”, a nineteen year old who reportedly lives in the vicinity of their Supal Street home. But up to news time, police had not made any arrests in this case.

For now though the family’s efforts are concentrated on finding blood donors as doctors prepare for another round of surgeries to give Ryan Alvarez a chance at a normal life.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“We always encourage people to donate blood voluntarily so that in cases like this we always have a readily available stock, but it’s quite sad to have received a child with these types of injuries.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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