DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It was a seemingly normal Friday evening on Alexander Drive in Dothan, then a drive-by shooting interrupted that calm as someone fired shots on a group of children playing outside.

A 12-year-old boy was shot in the thigh, according to the boy’s mentor, Nathan Patterson. He’s seen this boy grow up for over four years now, and this shooting has pushed him to do something about the violence that continues to harm his community.

“He always been that kid that had a great spirit and just wanted people to laugh,” Time Youth Impact Center Executive Director, Nathan Patterson said. “So to see this happen to him it really just hurt my heart, it hurt my wife’s heart, it hurt the kids here heart and we just wanted to say no we are not going to allow this to continue on in our city. We are calling everybody to step up.”

The 12-year-old boy will survive the injuries, but the wound in his leg has him relying on crutches for now.
And even though he’s physically healing, this shooting has dimmed the boy’s spirit.

“Right now he is not himself,” Patterson said. “He’s not believing that people really care, he doesn’t believe this community will get better. We have to raise more awareness about what’s really going on a lot of these acts of violence are happening in these inner-city neighborhoods, and it’s kind of not being mentioned like it should be. We have to step up as a community.”

The city has seen several shootings and murders in the past few weeks, and Patterson is calling on the community to take a stand.

“It has just been chaos when it comes to gun violence and crime in particular neighborhoods, mainly in the inner-city here in Dothan,” Patterson said. “It just comes at a time where we just have to make a stand and call out the community.”