Paralyzed Miami Teen Taking First Steps Since Shooting

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013  |  Updated 6:58 PM EDT
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A year after he was paralyzed from the waist down during a shooting in Wynwood, a South Florida teen is getting a second chance to walk. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez reports

A year after he was paralyzed from the waist down during a shooting in Wynwood, a South Florida teen is getting a second chance to walk. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez reports

Photos and Videos

Spinal Cord Injury Patients Ride Hand Bikes at Crandon Beach Picnic

Ten spinal cord injury patients from Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital spent their day at Crandon Park where they rode special hand bikes. David Jeannot spoke with 15-year-old Aaron Willis, a recent victim of gun violence that left him paralyzed, about the event.

Speakers at Miami Jackson Senior High Forum Seek Ways To End Cycle of Gun Violence

High school freshman Aaron Willis sat in the auditorium at Miami Jackson Senior High School. Once part of the football team, Aaron is now paralyzed from the waist down. His father, Sammie Willis, was just one of the speakers affected by gun violence who took part in a roundtable discussion at Miami Jackson Senior High on Monday. Sherman Henry and Luther Campbell also comment.
More Photos and Videos

A year after he was paralyzed from the waist down during a shooting in Wynwood, a South Florida teen is getting a second chance to walk.

Aaron Willis took steps with the help of a special brace and rolling walker at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

"It feels, it feels pretty good because I don't got no sensation in my legs and I can still walk," he said.

His father Sammie WIllis was crying.

"They're really tears of joy to see my boy walking again, something I never really expected to see," he said.


Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the day Willis, 16, was shot in the back while riding home from a friend's house in the area of Northwest 1st Avenue and Northwest 28th Street.

The Booker T. Washington High School student spent several weeks at Holtz Children's Hospital before beginning therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital.

"I couldn't get up, sit in a 90 degree angle, or nothing. I just had to lay down all day. I had two tubes coming out of me," Aaron Willis said.


Willis, who was a high school track and football player, had been using a hand bike to get around the last time he spoke with reporters in May. He said he's trying to move forward with his life.

"There's still stuff I can do even though my legs are not moving," Willis said. "My mind still works so I can do whatever I want."

Police have not caught the shooter.

"And it don't give me a chance to ask him why, but I got to move on and focus on him," said his mother Katherine Beaton.

"I've been pretty much positive. I don't really have time to get negative cause I've got a lot of friends. I've got a lot of therapists," he said.

His therapists say he's made more progres than other patients with the same injury.

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