Boy, 18, Paralyzed After Water Pistol Prank Sparks Shooting in Walmart Lot

Boy, 18, Paralyzed After Water Pistol Prank Sparks Shooting in Walmart Lot
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An 18-year-old high school senior in Kansas has been left par­a­lyzed from the waist down after a water pis­tol prank in a Wal­mart park­ing lot turned violent. 

Anakin Zehring and his friends were play­ing with a toy water gun when one of the teens they tar­get­ed alleged­ly called a rel­a­tive who then shot Anakin.

The Sedg­wick Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office has arrest­ed 47-year-old Ruben Con­tr­eras and charged him with attempt­ed first-degree murder. 

Anakin’s par­ents say the bul­let caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age, punc­tur­ing his duo­de­num and dam­ag­ing his spinal cord. Doc­tors were forced to fuse sev­er­al of his spinal bones to help him survive.

Now, Anakin’s fam­i­ly has launched a GoFundMe page to cov­er his exten­sive phys­i­cal ther­a­py, occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­py and nurs­ing care dur­ing his recov­ery. The teen had planned to become an engi­neer after grad­u­at­ing high school, but will now face a long road ahead.

The inci­dent has left the Zehring fam­i­ly dev­as­tat­ed, with Anakin’s father Jere­my say­ing his son is “very hard” on him­self as he strug­gles with his new reality. 

Despite the tragedy, Anakin’s high school arranged a spe­cial grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mo­ny for him at the hos­pi­tal. The accused shoot­er remains out on bond as the case heads to court.

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