By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Devin Bullock, 19, nearly lost his life, and has now lost one of his legs, the innocent victim of a gunman who opened fire April 23d at 25th and Thompson Streets in Brewerytown.
Teachers at the New Media Technology Charter School in Mt. Airy say in addition to being a top basketball player and school leader, Bullock, who was looking forward to his prom and graduation, had gotten offers from several colleges.
“My initial reaction was, I can’t believe this is happening,” Physical Education teacher Vanessa Mecca said.
“I just had to pull over to the side of the road and just started sobbing,” Dr. Reuben Mills, school CEO said.
Bullock has supported himself for several years, working a 40-hour week at a local footwear store, then coming to practice and class each day at 6:30 a.m.
“It didn’t matter who he spoke to or who he was around, he always brought happiness,” Coach Michael Greene said.
Philadelphia police identified a suspect, James Cole, wanted for the shooting. Cole surrendered to police Saturday and was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder.
Detectives claim Cole, opening fire on intended targets, accidentally struck Bullock with several shots. Two others were also less seriously wounded.
Police ask anyone with information on the shooting or suspect to call them at 215-546-TIPS.
Meanwhile, teachers and students have organized a drive to help Bullock and his family with medical expenses.
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Bullock remains hospitalized, but his teachers and fellow students vow even if he can’t come to their graduation, they will bring the ceremonies to him.
“I believe if anybody can come through this, Devin will,” Assistant Coach Anthony Richardson said.