Gun Group Raises Money To Help Drive-By-Shooting Victim - New York News

Gun Group Raises Money To Help Drive-By-Shooting Victim Get Service Dog

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MANATEE (FOX 13) -5-year-old Davien Martinez is blind in one eye from a stray bullet as a result of a drive-by-shooting.

His family was in desperate need of a service dog to help him, but they couldn't afford one. Thankfully, an unlikely group came to their aid.

It’s a phone call Diana Lopez prayed would come.

"I was a little shocked at first," she said.

Who the call came from was a bigger surprise.

"It kind of clicked that maybe these are good people that have guns. Not all gun owners are bad," she said.

On the other end of the call was the Tampa Bay Gun Runners club.

They call themselves a gun club with a family friendly atmosphere.

They offered their assistance in helping the family purchase a service dog for her son, Davien.

"I never knew people could be so kind to strangers. Somebody they don't even know," she said.

For the pair, guns have been a scary topic.

A stray bullet hit Davien during a drive-by-shooting last year in Manatee County.

"This little piece is a piece of skull that is still logged in his brain," Lopez pointed out.

The bullet entered his head and lodged in his jaw.  And it tore through Davien's optic nerve and left him blind in his right eye.

The scars of his injuries are still visible, physically and emotionally.

"Right now, he gets impulses and he doesn't have that safety filter," she said.

His mother said he suffers from PTSD, anxiety and mood issues.

"The dog will help him calm him down a little bit and give him that security to help him focus," said Lopez.

Scott Baldwin co-founder of Tampa Bay Gun Runners heard Davien's story and knew they had to help.

"We wanted to do something for him and for him to see not all people who have guns are irresponsible bad people," he said.

The group raised $14,000 in under a week.

"He is an honorary member now of our club and we will personally see him grow,' said Baldwin.

With his wish granted, Davien and his mom will continue their journey towards healing and understanding.

"It just warms my heart just knowing that something good is going to be done for him," said Lopez.

Davien picked out his service dog Saturday afternoon with the Tampa Bay Gun Runners Club.

It'll take a few months of training for Davien and his new pal to get to know one another, but he should have his dog home in a few months.



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