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Family of Shot Austin 14-Year-Old: 'He's Going to Be OK'

By Quinn Ford | March 26, 2013 4:24pm

MEDICAL DISTRICT — One day after being shot in an apparent drive-by shooting, 14-year-old Donald Murphy sat in a John Stroger Hospital bed Tuesday afternoon playing a Nintendo Wii basketball game.

When asked how was feeling, Donald grimaced and gave a one-word answer.

"Better," he said softly, his voice cracking a bit.

His mother, Rosie Griffin, sat by his side and said her son "hasn't been talking a lot."

Donald was standing on the 5100 block of West North Avenue in the city's Austin neighborhood, almost directly across from his home, when he was hit in the back in an apparent drive-by shooting about 6:40 p.m. Monday, authorities said.

Griffin, who heard the shots, said she later learned that Donald was caught in the shooting after walking out of a nearby dollar store.

"There was a group of boys standing outside the dollar store, and as he was coming out, a car just came past and started shooting, and they were shooting at anybody out there," she said.

Griffin said Donald ran into a neighbor's home after he was hit. The neighbor called for an ambulance and then contacted her. Griffin said she was at her son's side in "seconds."

Griffin was told the bullet hit Donald in the back and came out of his chest, piercing his lung. She said it missed his heart by inches.

On Tuesday, Donald rested in the pediatric intensive care unit and had a tube in his side. Griffin said once that was taken out Donald could soon go home.

"He's still in some pain, but things have been doing much better," she said.

Donald is the third of her five children, with three brothers and a younger sister. He is in eighth grade at Leslie Lewis Elementary School and is set to graduate in June, Griffin said.

But Griffin said as soon as her son is out of the hospital, she is going to begin looking for a new home in a different neighborhood.

Griffin said for the eight years she has lived in Austin, shootings have been a regular occurrence. The frequency depends on when rival gang factions are fighting, she said.

"When they [are] into it or at war, they just go back and forth shooting," Griffin said.

Griffin has known others who have been shot in Austin, but this is the first family member to be directly touched by the city's violence.

"It's crazy," Griffin said. "It's scary, so I'm just going to move."

Seventy-one people have been killed in the city of Chicago so far in 2013, according to DNAinfo.com Chicago records. Of those 71 victims, 14 have been minors under the age of 18 years old.