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81-Year-Old Shooting Victim Caught In Crossfire, Family Seeks Justice

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By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The family of an 81-year-old shooting victim spoke out Monday night.

According to police, their loved one and another man were innocent bystanders who were caught in the crossfire of a gun battle Friday night.

The victim’s son, Matthew Hollis said, “When he was at the hospital, he was D.O.A.”

Dead On Arrival, that was James Hollis when he was rushed to the hospital Friday. But his son and daughter say their prayers were answered over the weekend.

“He knows we’re there. We ask him to move an arm and he can move his arm,” Matthew explained.

The 81-year-old is still nursing a gunshot wound to his head at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The family calls it a miracle he’s alive and for that they are grateful but their emotions are still running high.

Hollis’ daughter, Ovida said, “I’m just angry. I’m just very angry.”

Police say Hollis was shot at the corner of 41st and Parrish Streets. The other victim is 69-years-old and was in a wheelchair when he was shot in his back and arm. He has since been treated and released but the shooter or shooters are still out there.

“To me, it was almost as if the individual or the individuals who were causing the shooting against one another, they’re thinking, ‘You’re in my way, I’m not saying I’m sorry, you shouldn’t have been in my way,” Ovida added.

Police say all they know at this point is that a young black male shot at a passing car. It happened shortly before 9 o’clock Friday night and so far, no one claims to have seen or heard anything.

Matthew said, “He’s walked this neighborhood for 40, 50, 60 some odd years and never had a problem. Now, you have these young thugs that are toting guns and who don’t care about life at all. I don’t know if gun laws could help but it’s actually the people. Guns don’t kill, it’s the people. It’s actually the people that have to be changed and I don’t know how it can be done but something has to happen.”

For starters, the Hollis family is asking for prayers for Mr. Hollis’ speedy recovery. They’re also pleading with the public, urging the community to cooperate with police. Again, police say without any witnesses, they have been unable to determine a motive or identify any suspects.

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