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Minneapolis student-athlete recovering after being shot in both legs

Minneapolis student-athlete recovering after being shot in both legs
Minneapolis student-athlete recovering after being shot in both legs 02:02

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis high school football player and wrestler is taking steps toward recovery after getting shot in both legs.

A gunman opened fire Wednesday night, hitting 16-year-old Cashmere Hamilton-Grunau as he walked home with a friend in Minneapolis.

"He has a will to win, a will to persevere," said Norman Alston, one of Hamilton-Grunau's wrestling coach's at North Community High School. "Your ideal kid. You know, honor roll student. Excellent athlete. All-conference linebacker. State wrestler."

"Cash," as his friends call him, was part of the SHOWTIME documentary "Boys in Blue" -- following North High's football team. Also featured in the program was his friend Deshaun Hill, who was shot and killed last February.

"It was real devastating news to get last night. It broke my heart," said Tuesday Sheppard, Hill's mother. "It's devastating. It's heartbreaking. A lot of pain. A lot of pain. It's like reliving it all over again."

Sheppard says Hamilton-Grunau called her from his hospital bed Wednesday night, not long after he was shot.

"I asked him, 'Why was you in the hospital?' And he told me he got shot and he said my son was with him the whole time," she said. "So just to know that my son is an angel, he's still protecting his family and his community and his friends, it was a blessing to my heart. But at the same time, I was so sad. Like, oh my God, this could have been all the way wrong."

Alston said he visited with Hamilton-Grunau Thursday morning.  

  Cashmere Hamilton-Grunau CBS

"The more I heard, the more I saw, the more I talked to him, the happier I got and the more optimistic I got for a full recovery," Alston said. "You could look at this as is this trauma or was this a trial? And I think he's just going to look at it as a trial he's going to pass. This could slow him up, he could miss a step, he might not be able to wrestle as well or we could look at this as he got lucky and he has the potential to recover 100%."

Police haven't released many details about the shooting including a possible motive, suspect or arrests. Community members are wanting more to be done before yet another teen is hurt, or worse.

"There's a certain comfortability that's going on where people, I don't think that they are worried about the consequences because they're not even worried about getting caught," Alston said. "The lack of police patrol, you know, comes into play. I think if more cops are out there on patrol just driving these neighborhoods, people are less likely to think they can get away with things like this."

"We need transportation. We need transportation for these kids, for high school kids. They need transportation. It's not safe. It's not safe to even walk around. So there won't be another DHill or Cash getting shot for no reason, just trying to get home," Sheppard said.

Sheppard and the Deshaun Hill Jr. Foundation are working with the nonprofit Change Starts With Me to try and make that a reality.

"At this point, we're not going to wait for the politicians to do something. We're taking action," said Justin Hall with Change Starts With Me. "We need free transportation for these young men and women, whether they're going to school, going to the gym, the rec center, the library, We need to make sure there's an app, they can push a button and get a free and safe ride and that's the mission."

"They should care because it could be their son, it could be their daughter, it could be their sister, their brother, their auntie, it could be their loved one. They should care. Kids lives should matter," Sheppard said.

Minneapolis Public Schools addressed the shooting in a statement to WCCO saying, "We want to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to the student for a speedy recovery, and also note that this incident did not happen on the North campus, was not related to a school activity, nor was it during a walk home from school."

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