College student shot at party recovering

January 4th, 2011 by Staff

TAMPA, Fla. – 19-year old Eric Allen is making progress in his recovery, four days after being shot in the head at a party in an apartment building’s clubhouse in Tampa.

His family says the A & M student was just an innocent victim at a party that ran out of control.

Hattie Bowers wants to see her grandson Eric smile again, the way he did when he graduated from Hillsborough High School last year. But now, he’s in the ICU at St. Joseph’s, in an out of a medically induced coma.

“I know it’s going to be a long process,” Bowers said.

Eric’s friends brought him to a party at Waterford Apartments in Tampa last week. As word of the party spread, more than 200 people packed the tiny clubhouse, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Things got out of control, and, for reasons that are still unclear, someone fired a gun into the ceiling. The bullet ricocheted, hitting Eric in the head.

“It went out of his eye. Right now, we don’t know if he’ll have sight in that eye,” Bowers said.

Eric is showing signs of improvement, according to his family. But on Monday, family members had to make the tough decision to cancel his classes for the semester. However, they are confident that Eric’s dreams of finishing school and going into business or law will come true.

“He’s a very strong-willed child, so I feel pretty good about it,” Bowers said.

As of Monday night, no one had been arrested for the shooting. Bowers is hoping that when Eric is talking again, she can tell him the person who fired a gun in the middle of a crowded party is behind bars.

“We can’t get back what has already happened, but at least it would give us some consolation and some calming to know that the law is being enforced,” Bowers said.

Eric’s family said on Monday they asked him yes or no questions about where he goes to school, and he was able to answer correctly. That’s a good sign for his long term recovery.

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