Mom of teen struck by stray bullet speaks out

November 25, 2009 3:10:06 PM PST
At the news conference at Lincoln Hospital Wednesday morning, doctors for Vada Vasquez said she could be released from the hospital by Christmas. It was the first time her relieved mother, Gemma Vasquez, had publicly spoken.

"It's going to be a good Thanksgiving, a good Christmas, a good everything," Vasquez said. "She said 'Mom.' She said, 'I love you.' It really is a blessing to me."

The 15-year-old is expected to be released from Lincoln Hospital to a rehab center before the holiday.

She was walking home from school on Nov. 16 when she was shot in the head by stray bullet. She underwent surgery and had been under medical sedation until earlier this week.

Gemma Vasquez said that she looked into her daughter's eyes when she awoke. And then the teen spoke. Doctors say the bullet damaged a part of her brain, so those words come out slowly.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the shooting, including 16-year-old Carvette Gentels. Authorities said the intended target was a 19-year-old man, who was also hit. He has been treated and released.