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Shooting at park in Chula Vista leaves teenage boy paralyzed

Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 21:03:21-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — A teenage boy's life will never be the same after a walk to school ended with shots being fired at a Chula Vista park earlier this month.

Danielle Brondstetter got the heart-wrenching call two Mondays ago on October 4.

“I fell to my knees and cried out to God,” said Brondstetter.

The mother was told her son, 18-year-old Adrian Gonzalez, had been shot and he was suffering devastating injuries. Brondsetter says it happened as Gonzalez, a senior at Hilltop High, was walking a friend to school that afternoon.

At the San Diego Gas & Electric park, Gonzalez's group came across some young men who were fighting.

Police say a group had gathered at the park for a fight, and they initially said Gonzalez was part of that group.

“A young man pulled out a gun and started shooting, and one of the bullets hit my son, entering the shoulder blade,” said Brondstetter.

Gonzalez was shot in the back. The bullet caused severe damage to his lungs, stomach, and diaphragm. It also severed his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

“He has a strong, positive attitude handling the pain. He’s the bravest young man I've ever met in my life, and I'm so proud to be his mother."

Brondsetter says her son, an avid athlete who has played on several soccer club teams, is already attacking his physical therapy.

“He says, 'It’s alright mom. This is just a setback for a major comeback.’”

As Gonzalez begins to heal, his family is in search of justice. His mother is making an appeal for tips.

“Please come forward. Think about if this was your child, family member, or friend … That young gunman needs to be brought in and held accountable before another mother grieves something more than what I've grieving."

The suspected shooter is believed to be a male, 16 to 20 years old, wearing dark-colored clothing.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.