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Family holds vigil for 11-year-old child struck by gunfire

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 20:37:41-04

Wednesday night was a night Sonia Pagan and her family will never forget. One day before her son Juan Rodriguez's 12th birthday, he was shot in the head while standing in the doorway of their home on Homason Avenue by what officials believed to be gang-related gunfire.

According to Pagan, Juan was inside with her and her boyfriend at the time when he ran towards the door to let his siblings inside after hearing gunshots ring outside their door. 

"My baby is a hero," she said. "He opened up that door cause his sisters were outside and his little step-brother was outside and he opened up the door and he let them in. He let his sisters in, his step-brother went the other way and my baby got shot."

Nearby neighbors like Chantal Duncan also heard the gunfire and came running out to help. She said Wednesday night's shooting was unlike anything she had seen. 

"I've been living in this neighborhood for 18 years, nothing like this has ever happened," she said.

Juan remains in critical condition at ECMC. Thursday night, his family, loved ones and other members of the community gathered together for a vigil in his honor.

As he continue to fight for his life, Juan's family is asking for prayers and donations to aid his recovery. 

If you'd like to donate, click here.