Paralyzed East Side shooting victim moved to North Carolina rehabilitation hospital

Tyreek Gadsden, 5, was shot last week in Charleston's East Side during an apparent gun battle between two people and he is now paralyzed from the waist down, according to his family. Police are still searching for the gunmen involved.

The 5-year-old who was shot in Charleston's East Side last week has been moved to a rehabilitation hospital in North Carolina.

The boy's father, Ricky Gadsden, said Thursday evening that he was on his way to Charlotte to meet his fiancee and son, Tyreik Gadsden. He said there was a Ronald McDonald home set up for him to stay at once he gets there.

Tyreik is paralyzed from the waist down after walking into an apparent gunfight between two men about 9 p.m. May 22 at the Wraggborough Homes housing project at the intersection of Mary and America streets. He was visiting with his grandmother at the time.

Charleston police are still investigating and there have not been any arrests made in the case.

Gadsden said his son's spirits haven't been dampened but that even as young as he is, Tyreik is hoping for an arrest. The child also realizes he's been shot and is paralyzed, but remains optimistic.

“He's still saying that he's going to walk again one day,” his father said. “I just try to be the father I am and encourage him.”

Gadsden said the shooting has taken a toll on all the family, which is relying on community support for help with medical expenses. He said they are on a fixed income ever since he was hit by a drunk driver.

“I'm just trying to hold the family together right now, keep everyone close to God,” he said, adding that he has been thankful for all the support from family, friends and strangers.

The National Action Network has set up a benefit account for Tyreik at South Carolina Federal Union and there is a benefit planned Monday by Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston. He will be joined by both NAN and the NAACP.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier versions of this story had Tyreik Gadsden's name spelled incorrectly.