An expectant father from Kansas was caught in the crossfire during an armed robbery at a local gas station, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
18-year-old Christopher ‘Chris’ Halbrook was on his way home from a car show in south Wichita when he decided to stop at the QuikTrip at the intersection of MacArthur Road and Meridian Avenue just after 11:30 p.m. on the 3 June.
But while he was there, a 20-year-old robbery victim began exchanging gunfire with a male suspect who began shooting at him.
Halbrook was hit in the spine and is now paralyzed below the waist.
He is now in rehab and hopes to be able to return home in time to welcome his first child in about two months.
Christopher ‘Chris’ Halbrook, 18, was left paralyzed when he was hit by a bullet as he stopped at a local petrol station on June 3.
He is now in rehab and doing his best to return home to welcome his first child with fiancée Hailie Shae (pictured)
Police are continuing to investigate the shooting, but her mother says she is “overwhelmed”.
“I can’t understand why,” said Halbrook’s mother, Tiffany. KSN. ‘It’s awful. As if he didn’t deserve this. He didn’t deserve this at all.
“I think about it all over the place in my head, and many times I wish I was there and I wish it was me. Like why couldn’t it have been just me?
Tiffany added that Chris was “just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it’s devastating”.
But Chris has started making progress with his hand movements, and is awake and talking, according to a GoFundMe to raise money for his medical bills and accessories.
He now has good days and bad days with his fiancée Hailie Shae, who is around six months pregnant.
“He’s strong,” Tiffany said. ‘But I can tell. You just know your child. You just know when they are exceeded.
“You just don’t want people to know you’re breaking – put a smile on your face, smile and go on with your day. It’s kind of what you do.
Chris’ mother Tiffany said he had good days and other days when he struggled
She said she was trying to hold on for her other four children while continuing to visit Chris in hospital.
Tiffany said she is now trying to hold on for her other four children, while continuing to visit Chris in hospital.
She enlisted the help of a local community group, who installed a wheelchair ramp in their home, a business that would have cost at least $50,000.
Tiffany also faces crippling medical bills because her 18-year-old son didn’t have full medical coverage.
Still, family friend MacKenzie Jack said: ‘I think she’s doing very well.
“I mean, through it all, it’s been such a hard thing to deal with, but with all the other kids she has, she’s doing great, she’s a great mum.
“But I know it’s hard for her.”
In fact, in an update on GoFundMe last week, Tiffany wrote, “My world is falling apart. I’m trying to hold on, life is overwhelming and I would be lost without Hailie Shae through all of this and her help in hospital when I can’t be there because I have four other people at home who also need me.
“When it all falls apart, I look at my son and how strong and enthusiastic he is, and I’m beyond grateful that he’s still with us today,” she added.
“I’m on my feet, I’m a fighter until I die. Hang on to me guys as I try to pick up these pieces and put our lives back together.
She also told KSN, “I just know the important thing is that Chris is a fighter. He has that in him.
“It’s not something you can relate to, especially with everything going on and him being paralyzed,” Tiffany continued. “Our whole life changed in seconds because of people’s decision to discharge a weapon into a crowd of people.”