Knoxville teen's family member speaks out on shooting

Knoxville teen's family member speaks out on shooting

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"It did hit his spine, but by the grace of God he is not paralyzed," Derrick Webb said of his nephew. "It did hit his spine, but by the grace of God he is not paralyzed," Derrick Webb said of his nephew.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A teen who was shot September 7 near Austin-East High School is still in the hospital, but his family says he's doing well, even talking.

Lashawn Pierson, a 14-year-old Vine Middle Magnet School student, was shot when he was about a block from the high school.

Due to the location, more security and counselors were added at the high school and the middle school.

Since the shooting, Derrick Webb has spent time at the hospital with his nephew, Lashawn. "He is talking, telling everybody else to be strong. We're trying to tell him you worry about yourself healing up," Webb said.

Webb says 10 shots were fired during the incident. One bullet hit Lashawn's hand. Another hit his torso. "It did hit his spine, but by the grace of God he is not paralyzed," Webb said.

Just down the road from where the shooting took place is where Lashawn goes to school at Vine Middle. Knox County Schools Psychological Services Supervisor Clovis Stair says eight counselors were added to Vine Middle and Austin-East.

"There were some kids who were having natural reactions kids that were especially close to the child or maybe that had witnessed something were obviously more frightened than normal," Stair said.

Webb says his nephew is an average teenager who's into sports and stays out of trouble. He hopes police find the shooter soon.

"I want them to get whoever did this to my nephew because he's an innocent kid, a good kid, goes to school. No kid deserves this for someone to pull up on you, say empty your pockets, then get shot," Webb said.

Police are not releasing the motive at this time. Investigators say they're following up on leads.

Webb says his nephew will continue to heal. "He's moving his toes and feet and bending his legs. He will be wearing a back brace for a little bit, but other than that by prayers and the grace of God he's pulling through."

On Monday, an additional school resource officer was added at Austin-East and Vine Middle, making four SROs in both schools.

Lashawn is in stable condition. Police say they have not yet issued any warrants in the case.

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