Mom of shooting victim fights for mental-health checks

(CBS News) OAKDALE, Minn. - Nine-year-old Devin Aryal loved soccer. His mother, Missy, wears the medals he won.

"We were inseparable," said Missy Aryal. "He always told me that we were super-glued unless we were working or at school. And nothing could ever break the super glue."

Missy Aryal
Missy Aryal
CBS News

But in February, Aryal and her son were shot on their drive home from day care. 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] got out and started screaming, 'I've been shot, I've been shot.' I just happened to turn around, and I see in my window, and I drop my phone and just start screaming like crazy, 'My baby, my baby. Somebody help him. My baby's been shot.'"

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Devin died less than an hour later. The gunman, 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 the 34-year-old 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've issued a gun to see if they're even mentally stable to even own one," Aryal said.

Watch: Newtown victims' loved ones continue push for stronger gun laws, below.

But opponents of mental-health checks for gun purchasers 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," Aryal said.

Asked to explain what she's gone through, Aryal said, "He was everything, so basically my soul's just kind of been sucked out, and I'm empty. I'm just empty on the inside."

Devin would have turned 10 next month.

  • Manuel Bojorquez

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