A GoFundme helped raise more than $180,000 for the teen’s medical bills. He has more physical therapy visits and has to get check-ups over the next six months.
ST. LOUIS — A 15-year-old boy was shot when a gunman opened fire inside Central Visual and Performing Arts High School (CVPA) back in October. For the first time, student Brian Collins is speaking about the tragedy that claimed the lives of his teacher and classmate.
“Planets and stars and a crescent moon,” Collins said explaining several pieces of art he’s worked on.
5 On Your Side’s Brent Solomon said no art becomes a masterpiece without the talent of the artist who creates it. The teen almost lost the ability to keep living his passion.
“Cause I could’ve died,” the reserved teen said while reflecting on the tragedy.
The CVPA student was in the classroom when a gunman walked in back in October, killing beloved teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, and student Alexzandria Bell, 15.
Collins was shot on the side of his face and in both wrists. After he was shot, he jumped out the window to get to safety.
“It’s just kind of difficult because I can barely move my wrist,” he said, three months after the shooting.
He’s still going through physical therapy and is now recovering from surgery.
“They had to remove the hamate bone out of the palm of his hand. It had gotten broken when the bullet moved through,” VonDina Washington, who is Brian’s mother, said.
His mother said she is just glad that ‘the kid,’ as she calls him, survived.
“To know that grace was extended is just overwhelming…there hasn’t been a chance to really sit in what happened. We’ve been at the doctor like every week since this happened.”
A GoFundme helped raise more than $180,000 to help with the teen’s medical bills. He has a couple more physical therapy visits and has to get check-ups over the next six months.
“I’m just looking forward to a full recovery,” Washington added.
Just last week, his high school re-opened for the first time since the shooting.
Collins was there, thankful to be able to walk the halls again. He’s also thankful for those who kept him in mind as he was fighting to get through.
“It makes me feel good,” he said.
“Why do you say that?” Solomon asked.
“Because people care,” he replied.
“I’m really proud of the kid,” his mother said.
Washington said the shooting never changed Collins or got him down. He said he’s looking forward to putting all of this in the past as he focuses on the life he still has in front of him.
To watch 5 On Your Side broadcasts or reports 24/7, 5 On Your Side is always streaming on 5+. Download for free on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.
5 On Your Side news app