NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - “It affected us a lot. I'm crying every day. I couldn't sleep. I'm just hoping and praying that the surgery came out good,” a shooting victim's mother said.
The mother of the 16-year-old student holds on to hope as her son fights for his life.
“He's really hurt, but he's going to pull through. He's a strong person,” she said.
Her son is in critical condition after being shot at a bus stop at Washington and Broad Monday afternoon.
“What I heard is that the guy and another little guy were fussing over a cigarette or a pack of cigarettes," she said. "Then, the guy went to his car and started shooting.”
Police say surveillance cameras at the Cajun Seafood shop captured key footage of 27-year-old Samuel Ash approaching the students from behind at the bus stop. They say the video then shows Ash pointing a gun and opening fire.
Along with the hospitalized 16-year-old, two other Cohen College Prep students, a 14-year-old female and a 17-year-old male, were also hit.
“We spent a lot of yesterday trying to get to the kids that were at the scene, that were witnesses, trying to get to them and offer as much support as possible,” Cohen Principal Rahel Wondwossen said.
Wondwossen said counselors spent the day at the school trying to help students cope.
According to court records, Ash first shot the 17-year-old before opening fire on the others.
The 16-year-old was hit three times.
“They say he was shot twice in the back and once in the chest. Doctors were telling me that he had to stop the bleeding cause he was bleeding from the inside,” the victim's mother said.
The victim's mother said she doesn't believe her son was the target, and she said he was only trying to catch the bus after school. She said he's a good student and plays basketball for Cohen.
“My message to him is why? That's kids. They were just getting out of school. They could have taken it somewhere else. That should have never happened, but I just want to know why,” she said.
While she may never get her questions answered, the victim's mother said she hopes the suspect remains locked up.
Ash is booked on 10 different counts, including three counts of attempted first-degree murder.