Recovering from shooting, teen victim lays out plan to help other young people affected by violence
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A teenager who was shot in a Louisville park plans to help other young people who have been impacted by violence.
Victoria Gwynn is still recovering after she was shot at Ballard Park on June 7. Gwynn was shot in the leg, which required a metal rod to heal.
“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom like back to back,” Gwynn said Friday, describing the sound of the gunshots. “And then just like I hear the bullets flying past me and I’m thinking the worst is going to happen.”
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Her friend, DaJuan Coward, 17, was killed in the shooting. Gwynn said the two went to hang out at the park. Roughly a half hour later, she said the bullets rained down on the park.
Gwynn said she limped to Coward’s bedside to hold his hand before he was taken off life support.
“I wanted to see him before he took his last breath and that was going to be it,” Gwynn said. “And I went in his room and (saw) him lifeless.”
Gwynn’s family is no stranger to gun violence. On Dec. 19, 2019, her brother, Christian Gwynn, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting at 43rd and Market streets while walking home.
The man accused of shooting Christian Gwynn was taken into custody nearly 16 months after the incident.
Since their son’s death, Krista and Navada Gwynn have turned grief into activism. They have partnered with Christopher 2X and his organization Game Changers to advocate against gun violence in Louisville, and show support for families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence.
Since being shot, Victoria Gwynn has been attending physical therapy sessions to relearn how to walk, using her brother’s and friend’s deaths as motivation to keep pushing forward.
“At first I felt like I wanted to give up, but there’s something in me that tells me, ‘You can do this, (because) your brother got your back, DaJuan got your back (and) you’re going to be OK,’” Victoria Gwynn said.
While that happens, she also announced her plan to join the Future Healers program to help others. The program was created by UofL Hospital’s Trauma Institute, Game Changers and University of Louisville Medical students.
“I’m most certainly positive that this is what I want to do, because it’s got to stop,” Victoria Gwynn said. “I don’t want my little sister to be scared to go outside and play with her friends, or do anything in life, because she’s scared something’s going to happen to her. I just want to take all of that away.”
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