- Faith & Family
Brandon Allen, 17, was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital last week, after undergoing and surviving surgery twice because of injuries he suffered after he was hit by the bullets of a drive-by shooter. His
mother, Elizabeth Allen, says that she is aware that the triggerman has been apprehended by Miami-Dade police. And while she and her family are relieved, their first priority remains helping the young sophomore from Northwestern recover and eventually return to school.
“He seems to be doing great right now and is in that joking stage — the doctors say that’s what often happens with patients after surviving this kind of trauma,” she said. “We really haven’t talked with him yet about the true extent of his injuries — in time we will. He likes to say that he was broken but now he is semi-fixed. I am comfortable with that.”
Miami-Dade police have charged Terry Joseph Darling, 18, with several counts including first-degree attempted murder. He has been identified as the alleged gunman in the drive-by shooting that took place on Thursday, Feb. 1st on NW 62nd and 10th Avenue in Liberty City; he remains in a County jail. Allen says she holds no hatred for Darling.
“From what I hear, he has been very apologetic and says he was just trying to frighten the kids,” she said. “But that doesn’t get around the fact that he shouldn’t have been shooting at anyone in the first place.”
Brandon’s older brother, Willie Calhoun, 28, adds that this was a case of a teen misunderstanding that should not have involved Brandon.
“My brother was not a part of the problem and for this to happen to him over a mistake is just ignorant,” he said. “He is just a normal teenager and is not a bad kid. Like most boys his age, he likes video games, is very athletic and spends a lot of time with his family. He may not be an all “A” student but he has never been involved with guns.”
Elizabeth Allen says that it was the support of the community that helped the police find the shooter.
“People have asked me what they can do for us and I tell them they can continue to speak up when they see things going on in our neighborhood,” she said. “The young man that shot into that crowd and hurt my
boy was caught because someone saw what happened and came forward. We hope Brandon will be able to return to school but that depends on what the doctors say. We have to be willing to speak up and to stick together. A few weeks ago it was my son — tomorrow it could be someone else’s.”
Allen noted that she is a divorced mother of four and that only she or her son, Willie, have the authority to speak about the status of Brandon.
By D. Kevin McNeir