MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He was shot in the mouth, caught in the crossfire of a shooting last week on the north side of Minneapolis. Fourteen-year-old Elijah Boswell is now on a long road to recovery.
Boswell was hit by a stray bullet that tore through his right cheek and bounced around his mouth before exiting out the other side.
“He just does kids things and to be caught in the crossfire like he was, it’s just so, it’s just overwhelming,” said Erica Harris, Elijah’s mother.
Harris and Elbert Boswell say their son Elijah was doing what was right when something very wrong happened to him.
“This is an innocent child. He was just going to get a cake, he was going to get a cake and get change to go to the Y,” Harris said. “You can relate to the Y, it’s in the community to help kids stay off the streets.”
Harris says her son, a straight-A student, was going to a safe place when he was shot.
“When I got the call at work, my heart dropped,” Harris said.
Harris’ co-workers helped her get to the scene.
“He was sitting down. Someone had his neck, applying pressure and he was mouthing, ‘Mommy, I love you.’ He was reaching for me and I just lost it,” Harris said.
Doctors kept Elijah on a breathing tube for five days. He opened his eyes for the first time on Saturday.
“He lost a couple of teeth and they repaired his jaw and the hole in his mouth at the top,” Harris said.
Harris believes this all could have been prevented.
“I’ve been calling for six months downtown,” Harris said.
Harris says she has called police and city council members, complaining about gang activity and open-air drug dealing in the area.
Elijah has a long road of surgeries and rehab ahead of him. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses.
Police say there have been no arrests and the shooting remains under investigation.