Cheer team rallies to help injured coach

A local cheerleading group is rallying to raise money for their coach, 19-year-old Wade Smith.

"Wade's got a great personality," said Andrea Garcia. She works with Smith at Louisiana Cheer Force New Orleans. "He's always got a smile. That's what everyone always says."

Garcia and her mother started a page for Smith after he was hurt in a shooting Saturday morning. They say Smith and his friends were leaving the French Quarter when someone walked up and started firing. A girl with Smith was shot, and the Garcias say the bullet that struck Smith in the shoulder traveled down to his chest where it's still lodged. Police say the shooting happened in Treme, in the 1200 block of Governor Nicholls St.; the two were shot while sitting in a car.

"He coaches a lot of young kids and they don't understand how someone so kind can be hurt so bad," said Marianne Garcia, Andrea's mother. "They're young kids and they don't understand."

The fundraising page has already raised over $4,000 dollars. The Garcias hope that money can help Smith with things like medical expense, rehab, and living expenses.

"His main income is working at our gym, with our tumbling. We're hoping we can raise enough so he can pay his finances," said Garcia. "We consider our cheer family, our family."

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