McALLEN, Texas - The doctor for a 13-year-old Texas boy shot while trying out for his middle school basketball team in South Texas says the child has no movement in his legs after the bullet ripped through one lung and his liver before lodging in soft tissue near his spine.
Dr. Mark Lieser of McAllen Medical Center said Friday that Nicholas Tijerina is stable, but it's too soon to know about lasting damage.
Nicholas and a 14-year-old boy were in a parking lot that had been converted into a temporary basketball court behind Harwell Middle School northeast of Edinburg when they were shot about 4:45 p.m. Monday.
Investigators questioned three men found with rifles on adjacent ranch property, two of whom were practicing target shooting about a half mile from the school. A third man with an assault rifle who was trespassing on the property was found to be in the country illegally and is being detained.
Investigators didn't know if any of them fired the shots, and are awaiting the results of ballistics tests to determine whether any was the shooter.
CBS Affiliate KZTV reports that the school opened this year on rural property northeast of Edinburg, which is about 50 miles northwest of Brownsville. Homes line the road approaching the school, but ranchlands covered with thickets of short trees and undergrowth stretch out to the west and the north.
Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said school officials were not aware until Monday evening that there was hunting on the west side of the school.
KZTV reports that with no Texas law prohibiting hunting on private land near a school and high-powered rifles that can fire more than a mile, school officials said the most immediate way to protect students might be to build a cinder-block wall around two sides of of the school to protect it from flying bullets.