By Manuel Bojorquez, CBS News
OAKDALE, Minn. (WCCO) – Nine-year-old Devin Aryal loved soccer. His mother, Missy Aryal, wears the medals he won.
“We were inseparable. He always told me that we were super glued unless we were working or at school. And nothing could ever break the super glue,” Aryal said.
But in February, Aryal and her son were shot on their drive home from daycare. She remembers hearing pops as she was about to turn at an intersection.
“As soon as I took that left, my arm went numb and I just saw blood gushing everywhere,” she said. “I [saw] Devin and I drop my phone and just start screaming like crazy.”
Devin died less than an hour later. The gunman, 34-year-old Nhan Tran, told police he randomly fired at traffic because he was upset over car noise. Tran’s family later said he was mentally ill. But he was able to buy a gun because he had never been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
“They just gotta have…some kind of a mental or a psych test before they’re even issued a gun to see if they’re even mentally stable to even own one,” she said.
But opponents of mental health checks for gun purchases argue the mentally ill are responsible for no more than 5 percent of violent crime. Some doctors worry that stricter standards could further stigmatize mental illness and deter people from getting help.
“We gotta do something with these gun laws before more wonderful children like Devin or Newtown or any other children are gonna be lost,” she said. “He was everything so basically my soul’s just kinda been sucked out and I’m empty.”
Devin would have turned 10 next month.
In May, a judge decided that Nhan Tran was mentally incompetent and wouldn’t stand trial. Instead, he’ll get treatment at a state security hospital.
The court plans to review this case later this year to see if Tran is well enough to face the charges against him.