LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 12-year-old boy who was shot in the head when a gun accidentally went off in the backpack of a classmate is experiencing impaired vision and has trouble walking as the bullet remains lodged in his head, his former teacher said Tuesday.
The boy, Issa Al-Bayati, will require another surgery and months of treatment, Bridgette Robinson wrote in a post on a GoFundMe fundraising page for him.
Robinson, who taught at Sal Castro Middle School for four years, said Issa is also having frequent bouts of dizziness.
Doctors have said the bullet didn't hit anything vital and his injuries are not life-threatening. He has since been released from the hospital. It was unclear if doctors plan to remove the bullet in a future surgery.
The gun went off in the 12-year-old girl's backpack on Feb. 1. The bullet struck a 15-year-old girl in the wrist before it hit Issa in the head.
The girl was arrested and charged with being a minor in possession of a firearm and having a weapon on school grounds.
Issa's mother fled with her two sons from their native Iraq about four years ago after her husband was killed, Robinson said.
The former teacher, who visited the one-bedroom apartment where the Al-Bayati family lives, said she was struck by the boy's resiliency and spirit after the shooting.
"When I first learned it was Issa who was shot in the head, I was horrified and saddened," Robinson wrote.
"How could this happen to such a lovely, compassionate boy, who had already experienced so much loss in his life," she wondered.
The boy's mother is struggling to find a job and receives government assistance, Robinson said.