KING COUNTY -- Sixteen-year-old Wael Bilal uses his eyes to communicate from his hospital bed. His uncle, Hussain Ibrahim, says he may never walk again.
King County sheriff’s detectives say someone riding in a white SUV shot him twice as he walked with friends near the Green Tree Village Apartments in Skyway two weeks ago. They're asking for the public's help for any information that might lead them to the gunman.
“He can’t speak because he still has the tube, but he can text, you know, through his phone, he can send us messages,” says Ibrahim.
The uncle says Wael has always been a great kid. He loves playing basketball and hanging out with his friends.
“The doctor already told him that he won’t be able to walk and he is paralyzed from here down. The bullet went into his chest and it punctured his lung as well, so he’s having another issue of breathing, besides just the spinal cord,” says Ibrahim.
King County sheriff’s detectives say Wael is not involved in gang activity. Investigators say the Major Crimes Unit canvassed the scene for a week looking for video and talking to people. And while they do have some leads, they’re hopeful an anonymous tip from the public will help them identify the shooter.
“We really want this shooter. Thankfully he didn’t kill this victim, but there’s a good possibility he’s responsible for other shootings just like this and we need to get him behind bars before someone is killed,” says sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
Ibrahim says the family is trying to have faith that one day Wael may walk again, but the first step toward healing is justice.
“Thank God he’s not dead, but that’s pretty much like being dead. He’s going to be paralyzed for the rest of his life, so that is basically like taking half of his life,” says Ibrahim.
King County sheriff’s detectives say the shooter was described as a black male in his 20s. If you know anything about this shooting you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips or use the P3 tips app on your phone.