CHANDLER, Ariz. - Police are searching for three suspects accused of opening fire on four brothers who were playing basketball at a Chandler park.
According to Chandler police, the brothers, who range in ages from 9-26, were playing basketball at San Tan Park near Cooper Road and Chandler Boulevard at 8:20 p.m. on Feb. 21 when three male suspects, who were possibly teenagers, approached the victims and opened fire.
One of the brothers was shot and was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition.
After the shooting, the three suspects left the park on foot and were possibly last seen near Pecos Road and Cottonwood Street.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Chandler Police at 480-782-4440 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.
Community rallies together to support the family
On the night of Sunday, Feb. 28, the community gathered together to support the family of the injured boy at the San Tan Park in Chandler.
Yolanda Ford-Watson and Everett Watson are speaking out a week after their 13-year-old son was shot down while playing basketball in their neighborhood park.
"We need less violence in the world. We need more love, more compassion," Ford-Watson said.
His father says, "You see your son lying in a pool of blood and you’re not sure what’s going on and you ask the officer where was he shot, and he says both legs. I just broke down. I couldn’t take it."
Believing that he might not make it through this, the teen, sprawled out on the ground, managed a few words for his mother before being taken to the hospital.
"He’s saying how much he loved us, 'Tell my brother I love him.' I didn’t realize later he thought he was gonna die. So he said, 'Mom, I just wanted to let you know that I loved you,'" Ford-Watson said.
His parents never gave up hope. They say they kept praying that their son makes it through. He was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, underwent surgery, and is now recovering.
"Police officers, doctors, surgeons did amazing. My son is here because God gave them the power to help him," the teen's mother said.
Community members from near and far gathered together in the very park where he was shot to show their support for the teen and his parents.
Meghan Dillard organized the event, saying, "A crime happened here and the reality is the family needed the support, they needed to know we were here."
Ford-Watson says even in times of darkness there is always light, and it’s the light that prevails.
"I’m appreciative of seeing God’s hand in people because that’s how we have to be. We have to be the agent of the most high," she said.
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